After days of anticipation, Manchester United made one of their all-time biggest signings official Thursday with the introduction of winger Angel Di Maria.
The Red Devils came to terms with the Argentine star Tuesday on a British record £59.7 million transfer fee, according to CNN.com.
As seen in this photo, courtesy of Manchester United's official Twitter account, Di Maria will wear No. 7 for his new squad:
Donning the prestigious No. 7 is something that Di Maria was told about by former teammate and former Red Devil Cristiano Ronaldo:
Di Maria starred for Real Madrid beginning in 2010 and helped lead La Albiceleste to the World Cup final in Brazil earlier this summer. Now, the 26-year-old attacker represents hope for fans of a struggling club that has gotten off to an awful start this season.
Even though Di Maria's arrival automatically makes Manchester United a better team, first-year manager Louis van Gaal made it clear that it will take time and effort for United to turn things around, per BBC's Ben Smith:
Louis Van Gaal on Di Maria: 'We cannot expect a miracle after two or three days. You have to work hard for the miracle."— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) August 28, 2014
The Dutch coach also attempted to temper the fans' expectations in terms of Di Maria making an immediate impact upon his arrival:
Van Gaal believes Di Maria can excite fans, but "maybe not in his first matches... he has to adapt to the team & the team to him."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 28, 2014
Van Gaal also discussed Di Maria's potential role in the starting XI. Since Di Maria has shown the ability to play multiple positions and thrive in all of them, Van Gaal is confident that he will ultimately be a good fit:
Van Gaal: "At Madrid he played not only as a winger but also in midfield. That's also a reason why we're convinved he shall succeed."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 28, 2014
Regardless of where Van Gaal plans to utilize Di Maria, the new acquisition appears ready and willing to produce:
Di Maria on his preferred position: "It depends on the manager, where he wants me to play. I have come here to work for the team."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 28, 2014
Above all else, Di Maria's focus is on winning. According to Manchester United's Twitter account, the Argentine phenom wants to help make Manchester United the elite club that people have grown accustomed to:
More: "I've come to #mufc to help the team raise their game and become an important team once again. I want to win many trophies with them."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 28, 2014
Both Van Gaal and Di Maria seemed to say all the right things, and there is most definitely now reason for optimism at Old Trafford.
Handling the pressure of playing for Manchester United is something that only special players can do. According to Mark Froggatt of ManUtd.com, Di Maria appears to have the right demeanor and mentality to adapt:
Interesting stuff from van Gaal, again. Di Maria was quietly impressive. Confident, humble, seemingly unruffled by the attention.— Mark Froggatt (@Mark_Froggatt) August 28, 2014
What was the most notable part of Di Maria's press conference?
After all, Di Maria did play for a Spanish giant in the form of Real Madrid, and he played in massive World Cup matches as well. He knows what it is like to play under the weight of major expectations, and he has yet to crumble.
Di Maria adds a different dimension to Manchester United's attack, and it will be interesting to see how he meshes with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Di Maria seems open to any and all of Van Gaal's ideas, which proves that he won't be a diva despite the large price tag attached to him.
If Thursday's press conference is any indication of how Di Maria's tenure with Manchester United will play out, then there are certainly much brighter days on the horizon at Old Trafford.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.