He sounds like something from the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, may have a girly name, and some of you reading right now may never have heard of him, but 22 year old Angel Di Maria is about to become the hottest property in world football, according to sources in Portugal.
Benfica clubman and fanatic Pedro Gonçalves Cabido Mota, speaking last night to BackPageFootball, thinks the young Argentine is the real deal.
Mota believes that Di Maria can now claim to be the best young player in the world.
“In my view Di Maria is one of the most complete wingers in Europe,” declared Mota.
At Benfica, he is our best player. He plays on both wings but he prefers to play on the left.
“Di Maria has lightening pace and an amazing dribble technique. I would think an accurate way of describing his skills is somewhere between players like Ronaldo and Messi. His crossing ability is fantastic and in my opinion, Di Maria is one of the reasons that Benfica have scored just under 100 goals this season already.”
“I think he has played 30 games for SLB (Benfica) with 11 goals and 16 assists through all the competitions.”
Indeed Mota is not the only fan of Di Maria, capped capped times for his country. Diego Maradona has tipped him to become Argentina’s next superstar.
Barcelona are now thought to be interested in his capture. It is believed that his fellow countryman and current World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, has had a recent word in the ear of coach Pepe Guardiola.
Di Maria played a starring role in last week’s 1-0 win over Germany, setting up the winning goal and also having a rasping shot, strike the frame of the goal. Many people believe he was the best player on view that night.
The player, who first came to prominence during the last Olympics in which he was on the victorious Argentinean team, is now attracting attention from all over the footballing world. With an U-20 World Cup also to his name, he is believed to have been the subject of a lot of inquires and offers in the last few months.
“There is talk that his last contract has a release clause of €40 million,” said Mota.
“As you can imagine €40 million is the money that we expect after Manchester City offered Benfica €30 million in January. We want to keep Di Maria until the World Cup so we can get as much as possible!”
“[At] this moment Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United [have put in] some offers. All of them were rejected by Benfica. United offered Nani plus €10 million and Chelsea one month ago offered €30 million.”
Premier League fans would already have seen him close up, with a sparkling performance against Everton over two legs in this season’s Europa League.
“I was lucky enough to be there and see him in action against one of the famous teams in English football,” said Mota.
“He was magnificent in those games. He had three assists and tormented the Everton defence all the time.”
Benfica fans have already accepted that he will leave in the end of this season.
“It makes us all sad to see such a wonderful player go, but we are realistic,” said Mota.
“[The] Portuguese League has good players but is impossible to keep them since money speaks louder than passion for the team. As a football fan, I would like to see Di Maria playing in the Premier League where his skills would make him a star in the UK.”
“He still needs to learn a lot and a change for a different league would be helpful. I cannot say a change to a bigger club because Benfica is the biggest and best club in the world but playing in the best leagues in Europe, like English or Spanish, his projection would increase a lot.”
So there you have it. Angel Di Maria has the world at his feet. Can he deliver on his potential and raise himself to become the most wanted man in world football? Time will tell.