Angel Di Maria: 'Little by little, each piece will fit together'

Before hosting Stade de Reims this Sunday at the Parc des Princes, Angel Di Maria spoke to PSGTV about the first half of the Paris Saint-Germain season. Here are some extracts!

Angel, how are you feeling? You've just returned to the field after an absence due to Covid...

"Well, I actually feel great. Thank God I haven't had any symptoms, I've just been waiting at home for the days to go by so I can resume training. But, well, that's normal. I think my last full game was on 22 December. Little by little I feel better, I am in a better rhythm and that is important."

Paris ended the year with a big lead in the league. Was that important to you after last season's disappointment?

"I think this year we started very strong, with the desire to try to win everything again and that's the important thing. But I also think that the French league has grown a lot, and gradually it has improved a lot. All the teams offer you great matches, not only us, so I don't think it's easy to play in it. Criticism is normal in this business. But we have to only think about ourselves, work every day, be 100% and make sure we are always at our best level."

As you were saying, to reach the best level, how has the integration of new recruits happened?

"When a player arrives in a new season, I think it's difficult to be able to adapt right away, and to be able to form a perfect team in one go. It's not easy, and even with the best players in the world, when you don't know each other yet, you have to create that connection. But you try to put all these pieces together and things will work themselves out. The important thing is to win, it's the victory. That's what also gives us the confidence to keep working and try to get everyone around the same goal."

You and Leo Messi are already playing together in the Argentina national team. Is it an advantage to already know each other, or do you still have to learn to play together in a new team?

"It's 50/50! I think it's a good thing to have a connection with Leo, because I know him, because I know where he normally positions himself, where he looks for the ball, where he usually takes it to be able to score or to recover it before a duel. After that, it's obvious that when you play for a club, the movements of the other team-mates, from Kylian to Marco, of those who play, make his own movements different too. I think it's a bit of everything and that little by little, each piece will fit together, and he will improve more and more, like the rest of the group."

Is it important to also help integrate new signings off the pitch?

"The day I arrived, I felt at home, as if I had been here all my life. I adapted very quickly, very well. Because I had team-mates like Pastore, Pocho, Marco, Ibra, Maxwell, Thiago Motta, and they all made it easy for me to integrate from day one. Their wives also welcomed my wife. Honestly, everything was much easier for me. So when Paredes came to Paris, or when Leo Messi arrived more recently, we in turn tried to help, to give them advice and make sure they adapted as quickly as possible. I think that's the most important thing, to make them feel comfortable from day one."

An interview available in full from Thursday on PSGTV!