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CAPE TOWN – Paris Saint-Germain forward Angel Di Maria says he didn’t get all the fuss surrounding Manchester United’s number 7 jersey when he joined the club in 2014.
The number 7 jersey has been worn by iconic players at the club such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Di Maria was expected to have a similar impact.
Having starred for Real Madrid, Di Maria moved to United in 2014, and while he started the season well under then manager Louis van Gaal, he was never able to settle at the club and was sold to the French giants the following season.
Since then, the number 7 jersey has been worn by Memphis Depay, Alexis Sanchez, and currently belongs to striker Edinson Cavani, although speculation suggests it could be given back to Ronaldo, who rejoined the club last week.
In an interview with TyC Sports during the international break, Di Maria said: “I didn't give a f*ck about the Manchester United No. 7, at first they talked to me a lot about it, it was just a shirt.
“My problem at Manchester was the coach. Van Gaal was the worst of my career.
“I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes. He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn't like players being more than him.”
In comments made in 2019, Van Gaal attributed the Argentinian star’s failure to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League for his poor spell.
“Di Maria says it was my problem. I played him in every attacking position. You can check that,” Van Gaal told the BBC in 2019.
“He never convinced me in any of those positions. He could not deal with the continuous pressure on the ball in the Premier League. That was his problem.”