Angel Di Maria, a former Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United forward said on Monday that he would retire from international football after this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
“After this World Cup it will be time, there are a lot of lads who are at international level, who are getting better, and little by little they are going to show that they are at this standard,” Di Maria told reporters ahead of Argentina’s match against Italy on Wednesday at Wembley.
Angel Di Maria, 34, made 121 appearances for Argentina and scored 24 goals.
Last July, he scored the game-winning goal as Argentina won the Copa America for the first time in 28 years, defeating Brazil 1-0.
Di Maria will leave PSG this summer and has yet to decide where he will play club football next season but believes that continuing to represent his country “would be a bit selfish after so many years and having achieved what” he wanted.
“After (Qatar) I’ll certainly be taking a step sideways”, he added.
Argentina has one more match set for this year, the “Finalissima,” between the Copa America champions and the defending European champions, Italy. On June 1, the match will take place at Wembley Stadium.
Di Maria came off the bench in Albiceleste’s final home game of the year in March 2022, scoring and assisting a goal, but Di Maria hinted that it could be his final match in his homeland.
Later, he wrote on his Instagram account, saying:
“I’m just going to say thank you for the enormous love received. 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 if to congratulate the whole team for the terrific match that was played. A perfect match of all. To continue growing and dreaming together. Let’s go Argentina!!!”
Initially, it was just a hint that he was planning to retire after the World Cup in Qatar, and now TyC Sports has confirmed that Di Maria will hang his boots after the tournament.
He wants to create room for the next generation of stars, despite the fact that his form suggests he could play for a few more years.
His departure from international football does not mean the end of his career, as the playmaking magician plans to continue playing at the club level.
The Argentine will leave PSG this summer after his contract ends, and the Parisians have no intention of offering him a new contract.
The Argentine veterans will try to mark their final appearance in the competition by lifting the prized World Cup championship, with Lionel Messi expected to follow suit.