Di Maria: 'Always learning'
Angel Di Maria netted the winner in the Trophée des Champions and was on the score sheet again against Nîmes on the opening day of the Ligue 1 season at the Parc des Princes. As El Fideo begins his fifth season in the French capital, he sat down with PSG.fr to look back at the previous four and ahead to the new campaign.
Angel, you are starting your fifth season with Paris Saint-Germain; that's longer than you've spent in any other club...
"And I'm very happy. I am very proud when I think about everything we've accomplished over the past four years. Last year when I had the opportunity to extend my contract, it was an easy decision to make. It's a sign of success to stay at a club like Paris Saint-Germain for such a long time."
How do you judge your first four season in Paris?
"It's a good record. My first four seasons here were fantastic. I have been able to adapt to this championship over the years, a started scoring goals early and I have always felt comfortable. But it's not only on the pitch where you have to feel at home... I love the city, the club and the country. Last season was my best yet on a personal level and I feel great both on and off the pitch. I just hope that this fifth season will be even better."
Do you feel you are at the top of your game now?
"I think you never stop improving. You can be 20-years-old or 30-years-old. Each season brings new surprises and we are always learning. I think it's especially true here where there are so many great players with whom you can learn so much. Obviously I have more experience now, but I am not resting on that. I want to always keep improving, always."
Despite the competition for places, you keep scoring more and more goals...
"It's not easy to shine with so many stars and talented players in one team. There are many atacking players that want to score. But I managed to keep scoring, also because I am playing higher up the pitch. The attacking trio means I can also play forward. We all play for each other and that's another reason why we all have very good statistics."
You met Carlos Bianchi last Sunday at the Parc des Princes. What did that mean to you?
"It was a great moment. I didn't know him personally but I saw a lot about him and I knew how important he was here and also in Argentina. It was great to be able to meet him and talk with him. Equalling his record of 71 goals for Paris means a lot for me."
When you scored that goal against Rennes, you ripped your shirt off and screamed. What were you feeling?
"I celebrated like that because it was a final and we want to win every final. We still had the memory of last season's Coupe de France final loss to them. I carry it with me. We had a lot of regrets after that final and I just let all that joy and rage explode out of me when I scored because I was very happy and we were able to win the Trophée des Champions."