Manchester United ace Angel di Maria has revealed the reasons behind his disappointed first season in the Premier League.
The Argentinian made the move from Real Madrid for a record fee of £59.7 million last summer, but after hitting the ground running he faded badly and lost his place in the first team towards the end of the season having scored just four goals.
Di Maria also had his problems off the pitch after his house in Manchester was targeted by thieves - an incident which reportedly prompted his desire to leave Old Trafford. The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain who wanted to secure his signature before his move to Manchester United.
Despite his troubles Di Maria is optimistic that he can turn his fortunes around next season - and put his problems down to taking part in the World Cup with Argentina in Brazil last summer.
He told Goal: “The Angel Di Maria from before the World Cup and after the World Cup changed so much because we gave everything we had on the pitch.
“It was my happiest moment. That was the most special thing that has happened to me. We weren’t able to win, but we gave everything on the pitch and we made history.
“Argentina were back in a World Cup final. We always said we wanted to become legends and we couldn’t do it. But that stays with us.”
Di Maria is currently away with Argentina at the Copa America in Chile - and will miss a large part of Manchester United's pre-season tour to America.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has ordered the club to shorten the trip to America in order to avoid a sluggish start to the 2015/16 campaign. “When you see our pre-season last year in the United States of America, we won everything playing against big, top clubs, and then we had to play our first match against Swansea City and we lost," he said. "That cannot happen next year.
“The most important aspect is building up our team with individual players so they are thinking like a team, but also we need fitness and match rhythm and therefore we have to play matches, but we also have to train. The problem was when we went to America we didn’t have so many times to train because we had to fly and travel a lot.
Di Maria started the season with such promise and faded badly - everything that could have gone wrong did. There was plenty going against him including the World Cup and his off-the-field problems so Manchester United fans should be hopeful he can turn it around next season.
If he doesn't he will almost certainly be sold. PSG may still come in with an incredible offer before the window shuts which Van Gaal could consider.