A Rosario Central youth product, Angel Di Maria is a speedy and technically gifted left-winger with the ability to create and score goals. Now starring for Benfica, the 22-year-old is attracting admiring glances from some of Europe’s leading clubs and could well be on the move in the coming months.
Di Maria's blossoming international career has already brought him considerable success. His first official tournament in the blue and white jersey was the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007. After starting the competition on the bench, he soon muscled his way into the starting XI, going on to play an instrumental part in Argentina’s triumph. A year later he repeated the trick at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008, gaining promotion from the sub’s bench and scoring two crucial goals en route to glory: the winner against Netherlands in the last eight and the gold medal-clinching strike against Nigeria in the final.
It was his exploits in China that brought him to the attention of Diego Maradona. Called up to the full national team, he collected an avoidable red card in the 6-1 defeat to Bolivia in La Paz, which briefly cost him his place in the side. Back in the Albiceleste fold due to his impressive club form since then, Di Maria seems to have done enough to earn a starting place in South Africa.