Angel Di Maria Named in World's Top 5 by Gerardo Martino, Taunted by Joachim Low

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2014

In what's already been a magnificent 12 months for the Manchester United attacker, Angel Di Maria has earned the honour of being ranked among the world's top five players, according to his national team coach.

After watching a Di Maria-inspired Argentina trounce Germany 4-2 in Wednesday's friendly, helmsman Gerardo Martino gave a nonchalant reaction to his attacker's display, per Ashley Clements' Mail Online report

"Di Maria is one of the best four or five players in the world and so his performance didn't surprise me. His absence there (in the World Cup final) was noticeable"

Under Alejandro Sabella, Argentina were forced to go without Di Maria for some of their 2014 World Cup campaign, the former Real Madrid man most notably missing the final against Germany while struggling with injury.

Since then, the 26-year-old has completed a £59.7 million move to Old Trafford, and The Sun's Neil Custis sees his most recent outing as further evidence that the vast expense is justified:

That being said, Di Maria was unable to prevent United's latest disappointment, a 0-0 stalemate at Burnley in which he made his debut for the club. 

Louis van Gaal will have seen the display against Germany as a prime example of the individual ingenuity he wishes to bring back to Old Trafford on a widespread scale.

Of course, the South American will be permitted time to adjust to his new setting, a switch in divisions and formation that he'll find unfamiliar compared to that of the Bernabeu.

One man who wasn't as full of praise for Di Maria, however, was the coach of the team he was so busy inflicting anguish upon. Joachim Low remains adamant his Germany side were deserving World Cup winners, whether Di Maria was present or not:

"We would have beaten them on July 13 even if Di Maria had been playing. He couldn't have beaten us on that day."

The nature of Wednesday's low-stakes encounter means no result will be treated with too much severity, especially considering Low fielded a side substantially weaker to that of the World Cup final.

However, to insist Di Maria wouldn't have made the difference when it took Die Mannschaft until extra time to claim their slight 1-0 victory seems an audacious proclamation.

Having endured some patchier spells in the Spanish capital, last season showed Di Maria to be of an elite class, where he made 90 scoring chances for Real, 17 of which were converted into goals, per Squawka.

One might still debate with Martino's claims that the player resides within a bracket as esteemed as the top five in the world, but the very fact it's up for question shows just how far he's come.

Low will understandably reject any notions that Germany's World Cup glory could have been hindered in any way, but his side were the latest to fall victim to Di Maria, another fine portrayal of the devastating power the Argentinian possesses.

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