Wayne Rooney has tipped his former Manchester United teammate Angel Di Maria to have a match winning impact in tonight’s Champions League final clash between PSG and Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
Di Maria played alongside Rooney after making a £59.7 million to Man United from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014. However, after a bright start the Argentine’s form fell off a cliff and he left for Paris after just a single season at Old Trafford.
Despite his struggles in England Di Maria quickly got back to his best in the French capital and has often produced world-class displays in the Champions League, winning the man of the match award during Real’s 2013 triumph over city rivals Atletico and ranks third in the all-time assist list with 27.
Di Maria was in sparkling form during PSG’s 3-0 semi-final win over RB Leipzig, scoring once and providing two assists, and ahead of tonights mouthwatering final clash with Bayern, Rooney has been waxing lyrical about what a special player his former teammate is.
“PSG’s match-winner might just be Di María,” Rooney told the Mirror.
“He’s a wonderful player. When he came to United I remember Louis van Gaal saying to the team: ‘He is the only one who is allowed to dribble with the ball.’
“Angel works tirelessly on the pitch and his delivery, vision and awareness is brilliant.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 22, 2020
It is well known that Di Maria and his young family struggled to settle in Manchester and Rooney reckons this alongside United being in a transitional period under Louis Van Gaal caused the talented attacker to have such an underwhelming spell in the Premier League.
“He could have been a major star at United but at the time we were going through a bit of a transition and it was tough for him to settle,” the Derby County player/coach added.
“He had young kids and lived a couple of houses down from me and someone tried to burgle him. I remember that really shook him and his family.
“From then on, really, you knew it was going to be tough for him and it was probably better for him to leave.”