Angel di Maria will have to fight for the rest of his career not to be thought of as a quitter after his disastrous 12 months at Manchester United.
To Red Devils fans, he will always be the marquee signing who failed to stand up when times got tough. Instead of fighting for his Old Trafford career, he went AWOL, refused to turn up for pre-season training and forced his way out of Manchester.
With four goals and three assists in his opening nine games for Paris Saint-Germain, Di Maria has started to rebuild his reputation with a new set of fans, but the label he is trying to shake off was reinforced by Cristiano Ronaldo last night.
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Speaking on the red carpet at the premiere of his feature documentary, Ronaldo suggested that his former Real Madrid team-mate had succumbed to defeat in the 2014 Champions League final against Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid were trailing 1-0 going into the last minute and the elusive tenth European title seemed to be slipping away from Carlo Ancelotti's men. Sergio Ramos would go on to score a last-minute equaliser before Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo sealed the game in extra-time.
But had the rest of the Real Madrid team dropped their heads as Di Maria did, they may still be searching for La Decima.
Ronaldo told reporters: “I love the pressure. When I do not feel the pressure, I want to take my boots, put them on the side and say: ‘that’s it.’
“It has always been about success and winning. If I had to choose one title then the Champions League would be the most important.
“At 88 minutes gone in the final, I looked for Di Maria and I saw him face down thinking: ‘we have a better team but we are going to lose.’ But I always believe.
“I will always say that it doesn’t matter if you play good or bad, as long as you win. In 20 years, non-one will look back and say; ‘they played better, they created more chances.’ It just depends on who wins.”
Pictures from the premiere
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