Despite the World Cup being in full flow, the old rumor mill is still churning out plenty of gossip.
The latest piece being that Argentine international Angel Di Maria could be on his way out of Real Madrid and heading to the Premier League.
Di Maria, 26, starred for Real during their UEFA Champions League victory last season and impressed with several tireless displays from midfield. Di Maria scored 11 times in 2014-14 for Real but more importantly added 26 assists. The slightly-built magician is reportedly attracting interest from PL giants Arsenal and Manchester United, both of whom will be heartened by his latest comments whilst on duty with La Albiceleste.
Speaking ahead of Argentina’s final Group F game vs. Nigeria on Wednesday, Di Maria admitted his future is up in the air and his agent is dealing with things.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with my career. I don’t want to know anything about my future right now. I’m focusing on my national team and not on what’s going on elsewhere. My team-mates and I don’t read or listen to all the things being said in the media. We’re just thinking about ourselves and the unity of the group.”
The talented winger was one of, if not the best, player in the Champions League final as Real defeated city rivals Atletico in Lisbon. Di Maria’s constant running up and down the flank proved too much for Atleti to handle and the man from Rosario has matured into a player who seems to keep delivering on the biggest stages when called upon.
That means two things. One: he will be in demand. Two: he won’t come cheap.
If Arsenal and Manchester United are set to bring Di Maria to England, they will need to splash out at least $50 million. Question marks would surround his level of physicality in the PL but his speed, crossing ability and creativity must not be underestimated. As Di Maria has shown at the WC and with Real, he delivers assists and makes a difference when it matters most.
The game in 100 words (or less): Vancouver is a long way from Houston. That could’ve been a problem for a Dynamo team that had yet to see a road point through six games. DaMarcus Beasley made sure to put the Dynamo on the front foot with a goal that turned back the hands of time and, after a shoving match between Alex and Pedro Morales left both sides down a man, Octavio Rivero scored an outside of the foot goal to level things up. Russell Teibert was an artistic passing machine for the ‘Caps, and both Tyler Deric and David Ousted made terrific stops as it ended 1-1.
Three moments that mattered
20′ — Beasley scores a beauty — This run, dribble and finish is something this man has done many-a-time in his long and storied career.
42′ — Alex and Morales trade shoves, see red — No reason for this, fellas.
52′ — Rivero scores an attractive equalizer — A measured, bending shot from a man capable of authoring beauty with his feet.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]
Man of the match: Russell Teibert
Goal scorers: Beasley (20′), Rivero (52′)
What did Jurgen Klinsmann learn from Tuesday’s win over Ecuador?
[ FOLLOW: PST’s Andy Edwards live from KC ]
Michael Bradley will be lying deep, while Bobby Wood is in for Graham Zusi and Ale Bedoya completes the midfield picture. Kyle Beckerman is out.
Oh, and left back belongs to Sporting KC center back Matt Besler. With Timmy Chandler injured, Edgar Castillo just arriving and Fabian Johnson going 90 against Ecuador, this was one of his only moves.
Still no Darlington Nagbe in the starting lineup, nor Christian Pulisic. Both were inspired subs against Ecuador.
The Yanks and Bolivia kick off from Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City at 8 p.m. ET, and this is how Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen to line up his USMNT.
Lineup: Guzan; Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Orozco; Jones, Bradley, Bedoya; Wood, Dempsey, Zardes.
The world was treated to the rare sight of a shirtless Cristiano Ronaldo as he celebrated the clinching penalty in a win over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in Milan on Saturday.
Jokes aside, one of the greatest players of his generation did get a moment to remember despite having a rather forgettable 120 minutes beforehand. Ronaldo buried the final penalty to give Real a 5-3 win in kicks after a 1-1 score line post-regulation.
[ MORE: Match recap | Bale reacts to second title ]
He almost sounded apologetic after the match, one that saw Real struggle to assert itself after a strong 45 minutes.
From the BBC:
“The penalties are always a lottery, you never know what will happen but our team showed more experience and we showed it by scoring all the penalties. A fantastic night for us.
“It is the end of the season and people are not fit, we have to rest and we have to go for the Euros.”
Then again, when you’re a superstar and have a trio of UCL crowns, you can feel however you like. Ronaldo’s never been a man for John Wooden-style quotes — heck, we’d even take David Beckham’s personality from him — but he’s won it all thrice.
And to be fair, the other two were better games (and performances from him). Ronaldo scored for Manchester United against Chelsea and capped off the scoring in the 2014 Real win over Atleti.
It took 120 minutes and penalty kicks, but Real Madrid outlasted Atletico Madrid for the second time in three seasons to win its 11th UEFA Champions League final on Saturday in Milan.
[ MORE: Match recap ]
Welsh star Gareth Bale made his spot kick before Cristiano Ronaldo took advantage of Juanfran hitting the post on his attempt, and Real won 1-1 (5-3) on the night.
Bale was thrilled.
From the Fox Sports broadcast:
“What an amazing feeling. In extra time a lot of people became cramped but we showed resilience, what we’re made of and we won the 11th.
“They gave it a great game. We feel a little bit sorry for them but you have to win a final.”
Afterwards, Bale said Wales would try to win the Euro 2016 because, “Why not?”
Why not, Gareth? Why not?