An angel by name and on the field, Angel Di Maria spread his wings and flew Real Madrid to the much desired La Decima last season. Although shining last season for the Los Blancos and his country in the World Cup, Di Maria has been the subject of a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu. Being the player he is, Di Maria’s exit would be a massive loss for Madrid and a huge win for whoever signs the Argentine international as his play style is simply poetry in motion.
While most poets write with a pen in their hand on paper, Di Maria writes with the ball at his feet on grass. When on the ball, he effortlessly skips past defenders protruding legs on the wings and can cut inside or dribble to the byline he treats as a teammate. The defenders that fail to take the ball that is glued to his feet are usually left looking clumsy and foolish once he passes as within a blink he can go from being in their face to leaving dust in their face.
Although his dribbling is majestic, Di Maria’s vision is his best attribute. The passes he makes always open up the opposition and are intelligent, whether it be a cross or a sliding hockey pass. He has the vision to pick out the perfect pass to his teammates when others would see just a swarm of jerseys. He can carve out a great scoring chance out of nothing, always seeing a diamond in the rough. It is through this he ended up leading La Liga in assists, assisting his teammates seventeen times last season, and showing his importance to the team in white.
The aspect that isn’t as beautiful, but equally effective for Di Maria is his never ending battery. If a heat map was shown for every match he plays, the pictures would illuminate a room as he covers every blade of grass. He appears everywhere, as along with helping out in attack, he pushes back in defence and covers his fullbacks. No matter what minute the match is in, or how tired he is, he still tries to take on defenders and make runs in behind them, or track his opposite.
Di Maria is truly the heartbeat of Real Madrid as he gives his club it’s attacking pulse through his natural talent and work rate. It is clear that Madrid don’t value him as irreplaceable, as just this time last year he was close to being sold only for manager Carlo Ancelotti to sell Mesut Ozil instead. If Madrid do decide to sell Di Maria this transfer window, a player that is a representation of why football is the beautiful game will be walking out of the Santiago Bernabeu, and whether it be Toni Kroos or James Rodriguez that takes his position, a gaping hole will still be left in the midfield as Di Maria is one of a kind.