There is a difference between Ozil and Di Maria. Obviously both are completely different players but the reason Ozil got shipped to Arsenal and Di Maria was able to stay at Real Madrid is because of a thing called attitude. Di Maria is a hard worker. Always tries to give it his all. On top of that, Di Maria at 25 is reaching the peak of his powers and selling him would be the dumbest move ever by Real Madrid and trust me, there have been many dumb moves made by Real Madrid in the past. You might say Ozil at 24 was also going towards the peak of his powers and should not have been sold but hye, it was his attitude and lack of control exercised by Ancelotti which lead Ozil to Arsenal.
So despite Ancelotti’s best efforts, Di Maria is still a Real Madrid player. He is fast, agile and very intelligent on the ball. He can shoot (occasionally) and can pass the ball in a variety of ways. He is good on the ball and though has a slender physique, is not easy to knock off the ball. He is not someone who can play 50 games a year but certainly not a Robben who was very injury prone.
So why is it that Di Maria was enlisted as a player who Real Madrid wanted to sell and someone like Alonso or even Benzema were not on the fringes? I mean, after Messi, Di Maria is probably the best left footed player you are going to get in the attacking third of the pitch. It is because of a single thing. On single but simple thing. Mental capacity.
Football player are known throughout the world to be dumb. Basically yes robots who do exactly as they are told to do. Well, I don’t agree with that a 100 percent but in Di Maria’s case, a solid argument can be made. His lack of consistency is the main reason he is not someone who is indispensable. Even when Real Madrid wanted to sell him, apart from Arsenal, no other major club showed interest in buying him and I think we all know that no one would have payed even 50 million for Di Maria. Why? Simple. Di Maria acts dumb on the pitch more often than not.
Lack of consistency (which basically separates Ronaldo and Messi from someone like Ribery and Robben) is the main reason why Di Maria is not considered among the top 3 players in the world but the frustrating thing is that he has all the attributes to become one except for his mental game. Sometimes during games you would see him switch off. In one game he performs like a World Player of the Year candidate and in the very next game, basically is a ghost of himself.
Di Maria does work hard. He has got great stamina and tries every bit in every game to make a difference but I don’t know what it is, he just lacks the mental fortitude (and because of that he lacks consistency as well) to play, perform and assert himself in every game. Every game, not just the big ones.
That is precisely the reason why Di Maria is undervalued and not safe at Real Madrid. I don’t think Real Madrid is going to renew his contract unless he improves his consistency dramatically. Can he do it? He should be able to. Mental development is not something that one has to do from a young age or be born with. Di Maria can work hard and improve his tactical side of game. He needs to be more professional and strict with his off field regime. Ronaldo should serve him as a good role model as he himself had these problems at Manchester United. Ferguson took him under his supervision and transformed him into someone who was able to play with the name Ronaldo on his back instead of C.Ronaldo.
Finally, I think, DI Maria would be better off he if put on some weight.
What do you guys think? Can Di Maria become the best player in the world or at least one of the best players in the world? Do let me know.