Paris Saint-Germain forward Ángel Di María scored the lone goal in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Brazil to claim the country’s first international trophy since 1993.
Di María recently spoke to La Nación (via AS) to reflect on the match and the journey throughout the tournament. One of the first questions that the 33-year-old answered is over his goal in the game against Brazil.
“Well, everyone already knows that my wife had told me, right? Incredible. She saw it coming. But Masche (Javier Mascherano) had also anticipated it: the day after going through penalties against Colombia, Javier wrote to me. He told me that he was going to score the goal in the final. But I never thought it was going to be that way, from above,” Di María said.
“Yes, I felt that if it was my turn to play, I could score a goal. I don’t know, it was a feeling, a feeling, but it made me spin. Rodrigo (De Paul) told me that sometimes their side (Renán Lodi) stayed, and I defined how I had to define: I was itching, saw him going to the goalkeeper, and it was like that, it was from above. I had it in mind as soon as I controlled the ball. Everything was perfect.”
The PSG forward has been part of the plenty of heartbreaks Argentina has seen at the international level losing two Copa America finals to Chile and the FIFA World Cup loss to Germany in 2014. Di María spoke about what this trophy meant to the squad and his generation, such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero.
“I don’t know if I felt that the award was going to come; in short, nobody knows that. Yes, I felt that I could not lower my arms. I had to try. I had to force it. I always fought, I always gave my best, because in The clubs I have played, if you don’t give 100 percent, you won’t play,” Di María said.
“Only then have I been able to stay in that elite. Lowering my arms is not in my vocabulary. I really didn’t know if one day it was going to happen to me; I just knew I had to keep looking for it.”
At 33-years-old many will wonder if this is the end of the line for Di María with the national team, but with the World Cup taking place next year, he wants to continue now more than ever.
“No. Now I want to continue more than before. Now I want to continue; the playoff games are coming; there is one year and nothing for the World Cup. I think I showed that I deserve to be, that I still deserve to be, that I am at a great level. And I will continue fighting to be there. Let no one doubt it. Now, more than before,” Di María said.
“Without before, I wanted to be; now it is double. September, October, and November are coming with many games for the qualifying rounds, and I don’t want to miss them. First, get there to the World Cup, and then I want to be in that World Cup. Now I go to Qatar. I never close doors. I did not close them when everything was wrong, much less now. I will always say it: the national team is never told that no. I’m not going to want to go anymore. Someone will have to close the national team door for me, not me.”