X

Angel Di Maria on Wearing Manchester United No. 7 Shirt: 'I Didn't Get a Choice'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2020

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 01: Angel Di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain in action during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier HSC at Parc des Princes on February 01, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Angel Di Maria has said it was already decided he would wear the No. 7 jersey at Manchester United when he joined the club. 

The Red Devils paid a then-British-record transfer fee to sign the Argentina international in 2014, although he only stayed at Old Trafford for one season before moving to current club Paris Saint-Germain.

Di Maria donned the jersey in his only season as a United player and failed to live up to the standards set by some of its previous incumbents. Speaking to Ligue 1 (h/t Chris Burton of Goal), the midfielder said the No. 7 wouldn't have necessarily been his pick:

"I don't really know. When I arrived, I saw that the No. 11 was available. It's a shirt number I wore a lot when I was younger and I was keen to get once again.

"At Real Madrid, No. 11 was already taken, so I took 22. At Manchester United they gave me No. 7, I didn't get a choice. I would have liked 11 but there we are. Here [at PSG], I had a choice, so I chose 11!"

Some of the best players in the history of United wore the same jersey as Di Maria, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and George Best.

Tifo Football recently looked back at the history of one of the most famous shirts in football:

In the 2014-15 season, Di Maria's form for the Red Devils tailed off significantly after a fantastic start to life at Old Trafford. He made 27 appearances in the Premier League, scoring just three goals in the process.

At PSG, he's had much happier times. Di Maria has helped the club win three titles, and despite some significant investment in attacking players during his spell at the Parc des Princes, the 31-year-old remains an important part of the squad.

At the end of last year, WhoScored included the winger in the Ligue 1 best XI so far:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Ligue 1 team of the season so far: @GLarsonneur Atal @tsilva3 Abdelhamid @KamaraHassane13 Di Maria Verratti @IGanaGueye @dimpayet17 @Memphis @KMbappe 📝 Ligue 1 midway roundup 👉 https://t.co/SgR6bC3agz https://t.co/cjPSW5KWEO

Di Maria has also shone in the UEFA Champions League for PSG and will be keen to add to the one European Cup he won with Real Madrid; he scored this brilliant goal in the group stages of the competition against his former club:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

🔵🔴 Last time Ángel Di María faced Real Madrid... #UCL | @PSG_English https://t.co/wdzYcuDflB

It's clear he feels at ease in Paris: "PSG is very important to me. They welcomed me with open arms in a period when I was finding it difficult in Manchester."

While Di Maria's former shirt at United is steeped in tradition, as of late a number of players have struggled in it. Following the Argentina star, both Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez toiled before being moved on, with the latter on loan at Inter Milan.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.