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Angel Di Maria says he was close to leaving Paris Saint-Germain for FC Barcelona

“I was really close to joining FC Barcelona.” Angel Di Maria reflected on his proposed move to Camp Nou at the start of the season.

football Updated: Feb 09, 2018 14:51 IST
By Sacha Pisani
By Sacha Pisani
Omnisport
Angel Di Maria,FC Barcelona,Lionel Messi
In-form Paris Saint-Germain attacker Angel Di Maria was linked with a sensational move to La Liga giants FC Barcelona at the start of the season following the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.(Twitter )

Former Real Madrid C.F. winger Angel Di Maria revealed he almost joined Argentina teammate Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona.

In-form Paris Saint-Germain attacker Di Maria was linked with a sensational move to La Liga giants Barca at the start of the season following the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

(Read | Real Madrid face final rehearsal in La Liga before PSG showdown)

The 29-year-old found game time hard to come by, though he has since worked his way into Unai Emery’s starting XI, scoring four goals in as many games, including a hat-trick against Sochaux in the Coupe de France last 16.

Reflecting on his failed transfer, Di Maria told TyC Sports: “I was really close to joining Barcelona but in the end, it wasn’t to be.

(Read | Arsene Wenger calls for cool heads as Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur test)

“I started 2018 on a good foot, though, and I am really happy. I like assisting goals more than scoring them.”

A controversial switch to Camp Nou would have seen Di Maria link up with compatriot Messi at club level.

(Read | Philippe Coutinho opens account as FC Barcelona beat Valencia to reach Copa del Rey final)

And Di Maria heaped praise on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, despite winning the Champions League and LaLiga alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid.

“Messi is always the best, he’s the best every year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s a special player, but Messi’s from another planet,” said Di Maria, who will come up against Ronaldo and Champions League holders Madrid in the last 16 next week.

“There are no words to describe Messi, he always surprises you.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 14:51 IST