Football

Angel di Maria is better than James Rodriguez, claims Jamie Carragher

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Angel di Maria is a better footballer than new Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez - at least that's the view of former Liverpool stalwart turned respected television pundit Jamie Carragher.

Ex-Los Blancos favourite Di Maria was sold to Manchester United in a British record transfer worth a staggering £59.7 million this summer, having apparently become surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu following the eye-catching £63 million signing of World Cup Golden Boot winner James from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco.

Despite the arrival of one of world football's hottest attacking properties, many Real Madrid supporters were notably upset with the sale of Di Maria - particularly given that it was his display in May's Champions League final showdown against rivals Atletico that was one of the most crucial factors in Carlo Ancelotti's side finally putting an end to the club's long pursuit of the elusive 'La Decima'.

Carragher praise

While Rodriguez is yet to really demonstrate the full extent of his talents in La Liga, Di Maria followed up an encouraging debut in the goalless draw over Burnley with a very impressive display in Manchester United's 4-0 demolition of Harry Redknapp's disjointed Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford yesterday.

Such a performance led to an abundance of praise from supporters and pundits alike, with The Daily Star reporting an exchange between Carragher and a follower on social networking website Twitter that shows the former England international centre-back question Real's decision to part with Di Maria, as well as share his view that the 26-year-old - who was voted as Man of the Match for his virtuoso performance on Sunday - is better than James.

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Positive signs

Manchester United certainly should not be getting too carried away by that aforementioned victory given the ineptitude of the opposition, but nevertheless there were several unmistakeable signs of significant progression that should bode well for the future of the club under Louis van Gaal.

Di Maria was far from the only summer purchase to impress during the rout, with versatile defender Marcos Rojo and particularly Dutch midfielder Daley Blind also providing cause for optimism on their respective debuts.

Fellow newcomer Radamel Falcao - an international colleague and former club teammate of James' who joined Manchester United on deadline day - was only named as a substitute for the match but received a rapturous reception after replacing Juan Mata with 23 minutes of normal time left to play.

Is Carragher right? Is Di Maria better than Rodriguez, or did the latter's superb run of form at the recent World Cup elevate him beyond his fellow South American? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comment box provided below.

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Topics:
Football
James Rodriguez
Manchester United
La Liga
Real Madrid
Premier League

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