Angel di Maria has admitted that he was inches away from sealing a move to Barcelona, but saw the deal fall through in the end.
The Argentinian would have become public enemy number 1 in another part of Spain had he made the switch to the Catalan giants, having already represented Real Madrid to much success earlier in his career.
However, having watched the move collapse, his reputation remains intact, and he continues to be an influential figure in Paris Saint-Germain’s first team.
Di Maria has managed an impressive 13 goals in 28 appearances so far this season, and is thriving alongside the likes of Neymar, Draxler and Cavani.
But the chance to play alongside fellow Argentine Lionel Messi really appealed to the 29-year-old, and he was eager to make the move. The Catalans opted to go for Philippe Coutinho instead, however, so he remained in the French capital.
Di Maria is far from disappointed that the move to Barca didn’t work out for him, as he is content with life in Ligue 1. Having recently scored a brilliant hat-trick against Sochaux, he is in fine fettle at the moment.
Speaking about his return to Spain, he said: “I was really close to joining Barcelona but in the end, it wasn’t to be. But I started 2018 on a good foot, though, and I am really happy, I like assisting goals more than scoring them.”
He also revealed his admiration for Messi, who he believes is on another planet as compared to his former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He’s always the best, he’s the best every year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s a special player, but Messi’s from another planet,” he said. “There are no words to describe Messi, he always surprises you.”