Ranking Angel Di Maria's Best International Performances for Argentina
Angel Di Maria may have missed the 2014 World Cup final against Germany through injury, but on Wednesday, the newly acquired Manchester United playmaker put in a Man of the Match performance against Die Mannschaft in Dusseldorf.
Before being withdrawn in the 86th minute, the 26-year-old assisted three Argentina goals and scored one for himself in a memorable 4-2 win that earned his country a small bit of consolation following July’s extra-time loss in Brazil.
Di Maria, as it turns out, has typically come up big for the Albiceleste, not only at senior level but in the underage categories as well.
Following are just a few of his best performances in international football.
7. Argentina 3-3 Uruguay
Argentina went into their final match of the first group stage at the 2007 South American Youth Championship knowing they required at least a draw to guarantee progression to the next round.
It didn’t look good when a certain Edinson Cavani opened the scoring after just six minutes, but thanks to a first-half brace from Di Maria and a late strike from Victor Sosa, Argentina went into the break up 3-1.
Uruguay fought back to earn a 3-3 draw, but the Albiceleste had the point they needed.
6. Argentina 3-1 Poland
Argentina had stormed through the group stage of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, but in the round of 16 they found themselves facing a tricky Poland side that had beat Brazil 1-0 in Montreal.
Angel Di Maria, however, was rounding into form for his country and cancelled out Dawid Janczyk’s opener in the 40th minute in Toronto.
Sergio Aguero would go on to win the match with a second-half brace.
5. Argentina 3-0 Chile
Following a nervy 1-0 win over Mexico in the quarter-finals of the 2007 U-20 World Cup, Argentina faced a Chile side that had dominated the group stage before dumping Portugal out of the competition.
Angel Di Maria played his best match of the tournament in that semi-final, scoring what proved to be the winner after just 12 minutes.
Claudio Yacob and Maxi Moralez also found the back of the net for the Albiceleste that night in Toronto.
4. Argentina 2-1 Netherlands
Argentina’s entry in the 2008 Olympic Games was quite something.
In addition to Angel Di Maria, it also included Lionel Messi and Juan Roman Riquelme.
At the quarter-final stage, the Albiceleste faced the Netherlands in Shanghai, and after 90 minutes the encounter was tied at a goal apiece thanks to tallies from Messi and Otman Bakkal.
It was Di Maria who proved to be the hero in extra time, scoring the winning goal in the 105th minute.
3. Argentina 1-0 Nigeria
Argentina faced Nigeria in the Gold Medal Match of the 2008 Olympics.
The Super Eagles had eliminated Belgium in the semi-finals, prior to which they had picked up wins over Ivory Coast, the United States and Japan.
There would only be a single goal scored in the Beijing final, and it came from Angel Di Maria just prior to the hour mark after some good work in the build-up by Lionel Messi.
2. Argentina 4-2 Germany
After missing the 2014 World Cup final through injury (as well as the semi-final and most of the quarter-final), Angel Di Maria finally got his chance to face Germany on Wednesday in Dusseldorf.
It took just 20 minutes for him to make an impact—setting up Sergio Aguero’s opener with a lovely assist.
He then helped out on goals by Erik Lamela and Federico Fernandez before rounding out the scoring with his 11th international goal in the 50th minute.
Argentina would win the match 4-2, with Di Maria having a hand in all of his country’s goals.
1. Argentina 1-0 Switzerland
One of the 2014 World Cup’s most nervy contests (and there were a lot of them) was played in Sao Paulo, where on July 1 Argentina faced Switzerland in the tournament’s round of 16.
With Gonzalo Higuain struggling in front of goal and Lionel Messi managing just a pair of shots, the Albiceleste were always going to need another hero in order to see off the stingy Swiss.
With penalties looming, Messi picked out Angel Di Maria with a superb ball, and the 26-year-old did the rest—beating goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and sending Argentina through to the quarter-finals.