Angel di Maria hopes that Argentina can put back-to-back finals heartbreak behind them to win Copa America
- Angel di Maria remains optimistic about Argentina’s Copa America chances
- The 28-year-old midfielder missed their last two finals through injury
- Di Maria says the side have a ‘monkey on their back’ after the two defeats
- The PSG man is coming into the tournament after his best ever season
Angel di Maria is hoping that Argentina can put back-to-back finals heartbreak behind them to go one step further, and become Copa America champions at the third time of asking.
La Albiceleste were defeated in a penalty shoot-out in last year’s Copa America final against Chile, a year after experiencing a dramatic extra-time loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup.
The Paris Saint-Germain attacker also hopes to make a greater contribution after missing the game against Germany through injury, before being forced off early in their loss to Chile with a hamstring problem.
Angel di Maria (right) hopes Argentina can put back-to-back final heartbreak behind them to win Copa America
Di Maria was unable to contribute in Argentina’s last two finals after suffering injuries in 2014 and 2015
However, the 28-year-old remains optimistic about Argentina’s chances heading into the special-edition Copa America tournament in the United States, which starts on Friday.
‘My only wish is to be able to play in the final. In that first one I wasn’t there and in the second I started but got injured,’ Di Maria told AFA.
‘We always have the obligation to win the title for the quality of players we have. We will do our best.
‘The monkey is on our back, more so because we lost the finals in the last two championships. But I think we did good in getting to two consecutive finals. We couldn’t win but football is like that.’
Di Maria is coming into the Copa America after scoring 15 goals and assisting 20 for Paris Saint-Germain
A Mario Gotze (centre) goal late in extra-time denied Argentina World Cup glory in Brazil two years ago
Argentina begin their tournament with a rematch of the 2015 final against Chile on June 6, before facing fellow Group D opponents Panama and Bolivia.
Di Maria and Co. will be buoyed by their performance against Chile in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier in March, where they defeated the Copa champions 2-1 in Santiago.
‘In the qualifying match we did things right and showed that in the final we could have won, we just missed it,’ he added.
‘Hopefully we have another chance to make things right.’
Chile were the next side to defeat Argentina in a final, this time on penalties in the Copa America final