Manchester United record signing Angel di Maria has warned boss Louis van Gaal that he mustn't be overworked this season after being forced to miss the World Cup final this summer.
The Argentinian ace was key in his country's charge to the final, but was forced to sit out both the semi-finals and finals at the World Cup because of injury.
Since the tournament in Brazil he's secured a move to Manchester United, becoming the most expensive player in British football history in the process. He's already made a strong start to life at Old Trafford, and got his first goal in the 4-0 demolition of QPR on Saturday.
While he looked in good form, Di Maria has suggested he has to be used sparingly in order to be at his best.
The former Real Madrid man traced his World Cup woe back to being overworked at the Bernabeu last season, and said playing in Madrid's Champions League success against Atletico Madrid contributed to his downfall.
"I had already played a lot of games throughout the season, including the Champions League final, and that was part of the reason [for my injury]," he revealed.
He added: "I don't think about that [missing the World Cup final]. I couldn't play the World Cup final. Those injuries happen in football.
"We managed to finish second but I think Argentinian people were happy. And we were too because many people had [no] confidence [in] us and we reached the final."
Despite his warning to Van Gaal, Di Maria was full of praise for the Manchester United boss, who he says was instrumental in luring him to Old Trafford.
Van Gaal was really important for me, in order to come here," he said. "[He] was one of the first who spoke about bringing me here. The coach always has the last word about the players he wants. I am really grateful to him because, thanks to him, I am now playing for United.
"I keep trying to improve every day and for that reason I wanted to come here to United. I needed to change my life. I will try my best to play the right way. I will try my best every match and show my arrival at Old Trafford was worth it.
"Manchester United are trying to grow. We already know we didn't start the Premier [League] in the right way but those things always happen in football."
Di Maria was joined by countryman Marcos Rojo at Manchester United during the summer transfer window. The full-back made his debut in the QPR victory, and Di Maria is hopeful his performance will be the start of an illustrious career at Old Trafford.
"Marcos Rojo has shown at the World Cup he is capable," he insisted. "He did really well there and he deserved to come here. Hopefully he will be able to improve every day as he did at the World Cup and he will bring a lot of good things to United."
The Red Devils next challenge in the Premier League comes on Sunday as they take on newly-promoted Leicester.
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