Sports

Ángel Di María’s status unclear for Argentina’s quarter-finals


AL RAYYAN, Qatar – Angel Di Mariathe availability of Argentina in the friday marquee World Cup quarterfinals with Netherlands still a mystery, thanks Albiceleste Coach Lionel Scaloni.

During a clash-filled Thursday press conference ahead of the match between the two global powers at the Lusail Iconic Stadium (2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App), the 44-year-old manager quarreled with reporters and declined to say veteran striker Di María, who missed Argentina beat Australia in last week’s round of 16, will be able to face the three-time world champion.

Argentina’s Angel Di Maria took part in a training session at Qatar University in Doha on Thursday, ahead of the World Cup quarter-final against the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

Scaloni said of Di María and the midfielder: “In principle, they are feeling good, and we will see in today’s training session and come up with the squad. Rodrigo De Paul.

Not having Di María would be a big setback. The 34-year-old player scored the winning goal Brazil in the final of the Copa America 2021 awarded the captain Lionel Messi his first title for his country, still an important player for Albiceleste although it will end on his 35th birthday early next year. the Old Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and now Juventus The attacker played 127 times for Argentina, scoring 27 goals.

Di María was injured and missed the last time Argentina and the Netherlands met in the knockout stages of the World Cup, in the semi-final at Brazil 2014. Either way, Argentina won on penalties after 120 minutes without a goal, before losing first Germany in the championship match.

If Di María is unfit to play on Friday, he will miss a reunion with Dutch coach Louis van Gaal. Di María spent the 2014-15 season playing under Van Gaal in Manchester. After his departure, he called Van Gaal, one of the most successful coaches of the past 30 years, “the worst guy of my career.”

“I don’t like him saying that,” said Van Gaal, who also coached England. Oranje in 2014, admitted at his own press conference the previous Thursday. “That’s the way it is. A head coach needs to make decisions, and they don’t always end well.”

He certainly wouldn’t be upset if Di María, whom Van Gaal called “a really good footballer”, couldn’t line up for the match against his team.

Argentina and the Netherlands have met five times before at the World Cup, four of them in the knockout stages. Two-time champions Argentina won their first title by beating the Netherlands at home in the 1978 final, winning 3-1 in extra time.


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