Di Maria hints at looming Argentina retirement

AFP

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Di Maria scored one and created another in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Venezuela at La Bombonera on Saturday (AEDT) – La Albiceleste's 30th consecutive match without defeat.

Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi was the beneficiary of Di Maria's assist and, with Argentina already sure of its place in Qatar, suggested after the match he would consider his international future after the FIFA World Cup.

Di Maria was slightly more definitive in his own post-match comments, as the 34-year-old reflected on "a wonderful night".

"I'm just going to say thank you for the enormous love I have received," he wrote on his Instagram page.

"I always dreamed of everything I lived on this beautiful night. It was probably my last match with this shirt in Argentina, and being able to say that it was a wonderful night is an understatement.

"Thank you, thank you and a thousand times thank you.

"Now to congratulate the whole team for the great match that was played, a perfect match by all. We continue growing and dreaming together. Let's go Argentina!!!"

Di Maria has earned 121 caps and scored 24 goals since his Argentina debut against Paraguay in 2008.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger is in line to go to his fourth FIFA World Cup, although he has scored only twice and failed to provide an assist across 13 appearances in the previous three.

In his final major tournament, Di Maria will hope to repeat his Copa America heroics, having scored in July's final against Brazil to secure Argentina its first silverware with Messi in the side.

Saturday's (AEDT) assist for Messi was Di Maria's first in qualifying for Qatar 2022 – from 13 chances created – yet only the captain and Lautaro Martinez (both seven) can top his three goals in this campaign.

 


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