Angel Di Maria admits he has ‘always wanted’ to play alongside Lionel Messi at PSG next season… and insists Kylian Mbappe will stay because he ‘won’t find a better team anywhere’ despite Real Madrid interest
- Close friends Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi are now new team-mates at PSG
- Messi signed a two-year deal to join the club after his emotional Barcelona exit
- Di Maria admitted being able to play with Messi is what he has ‘always wanted’
- He is also bullish that Kylian Mbappe will stay despite interest from Real Madrid
Angel Di Maria has admitted that being able to play alongside Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain next season is what he has ‘always wanted’ – and also insisted Kylian Mbappe will stay at the club.
Messi signed a two-year contract, with the option of a third, after his emotional departure from boyhood club Barcelona, and has already started training with his new team-mates as he gears up for his debut.
He will be fielded next to Mbappe and Neymar, who he linked up with to devastating effect in Catalonia, with Di Maria potentially missing out on the team. Despite this, his feelings about the switch are nothing but positive.
Angel Di Maria has admitted that he ‘always wanted’ to play alongside Lionel Messi at PSG
Messi signed a two-year deal to officially complete his switch to Paris after leaving Barcelona
Di Maria and Messi are long-time friends, and have been team-mates on the international stage for Argentina for many years. After their success this summer at the Copa America, they will now target more trophies at club level.
‘I’m more than happy,’ he told ESPN. ‘Everything I dreamed about happened in one month; winning the Copa [America] and being able to play with Leo in the same team. It’s what I’ve always wanted.’
Mbappe is certain to lead the line once again this season, despite the speculation that has linked him with a move to Real Madrid. His contract situation is mired in uncertainty, despite the signing of Messi.
Di Maria and Messi are international team-mates for Argentina and remain very close friends
But Di Maria is bullish about the club’s chances of keeping the young frontman, and believes that PSG may have put together the best team in the world.
‘Mbappe? I think he stays,’ he added. ‘It’s obvious that he’s a player that all the big teams want but with the team that PSG has now, I don’t think he’s going to leave. I don’t think he will find a better team anywhere.’
Di Maria appears to have been one of the players who helped convince Messi to make the move to Paris, with the superstar forced to explain that a picture of them together in Ibiza was not a hint over his future.
Messi was seen out with several PSG players, including Neymar and Di Maria, just a matter of hours before the jaw-dropping news broke that there was a U-turn on the agreement between him and Barcelona over a new deal.
Di Maria is also confident Kylian Mbappe will stay at the club despite interest from Real Madrid
But in the press conference he delivered before leaving the Nou Camp, he claimed that nothing could be taken from the snap.
‘Coincidence? Completely. I met them in Ibiza, we met them one day, got together and we’re friends,’ Messi explained.
‘I was going to meet Paredes and Di Maria. Ney called me and said, “do you want to see me?”
‘We uploaded the photo in that moment because we were having a good time and there was a joke at the time, they kept telling me “come to Paris, come to Paris”.
Messi was snapped in Ibiza earlier this summer with a number of his new team-mates at PSG
Messi took part in his first training session at PSG since joining the club this week on Thursday
‘It was just a joke, that was all.’
Messi underwent his first session at PSG yesterday, having taken to the pitch for the first time since rounding off his international duty earlier this summer. He was put through his paces at their Camp des Loges complex.
In footage shared on Instagram by the club, Messi was seen sprinting down the field and carrying out drills largely designed to improve his fitness and sharpness. He is said to be desperate to make the squad to face Strasbourg this weekend.