Angel Di Maria Says He Anticipated Hostile Reception at Old Trafford

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Angel Di Maria broke not just the club, but the English transfer fee record when he moved to Manchester United from Real Madrid in 2014, but his stint with the club was underwhelming to say the least. Di Maria clashed with then manager Louis van Gaal and just never found himself, nor his game really clicking at Old Trafford.

The very next year Di Maria was off to Paris Saint-Germain, sold off at a price that incurred a big financial loss for United. When the Argentine midfielder came back to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time as an opponent last night, he was jeered and booed. During PSG’s 2-0 win over United in the UEFA Champions League knockout round, Di Maria had lighters and beer bottles thrown at him.

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The reaction was so hostile that UEFA have even charged United over the deplorable behavior of some of their supporters.

Di Maria said he anticipated the extremely cold welcome though.

“It was difficult from the opening minute but I knew this was going to happen,” he said in an interview with Cadena Cope.

“But I’ve said it in the past and I reiterate it, I never spoke badly of the people here and of this club. ‘These are things that happen and people took it badly. I only had problems with the coach [Louis van Gaal] here.”

For the most part, the former wearer of the iconic United #7 shirt kept his cool in response to all the animosity he encountered.

He also provided the assist on both of PSG’s goals last night.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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