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'He couldn't handle the pressure' – Van Gaal hits back at Di Maria's failed Man Utd stint

11:33 PM WAT 26/03/2019
Angel Di Maria Louis van Gaal Man Utd
The Dutchman has issued a response to the Argentine, who blamed his manager for his underwhelming time at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal has hit back at Angel Di Maria after the Argentina winger blamed him for failing to live up to expectations at Old Trafford. 

Di Maria joined Manchester United from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for a then-British record fee of £59.7 million ($75m).

Expectations were high for the forward, but he did not live up to his potential in just one season with United. 

The 31-year-old started out well but slowed down as the season progressed, ending with four goals and 12 assists in 32 appearances.

After a single campaign, the Argentina international then left United and joined Paris Saint-Germain, where he still plays currently. 

Ahead of Man Utd and PSG meeting in the Champions League, he made it clear where he placed the blame for his failed stint at United. 

"There were complications with the coach at the time," Di Maria said in January.

However, Van Gaal insisted the forward's struggles in England were nobody's fault but his own.

"Di Maria says it was my problem. I played him in every attacking position. You can check that," Van Gaal told the BBC.

"He never convinced me in any of those positions. He could not deal with the continuous pressure on the ball in the Premier League. That was his problem."

Before his stint at United, Di Maria managed 36 goals in 190 games for Real Madrid before transferring to England.

After his spell at Old Trafford, Di Maria has since gone on to shine in Ligue 1, where he is on the verge of winning his third league title in his fourth season with the Paris club.

He has also scored 66 goals in his time at the club so far, including 16 during the current campaign.

Di Maria, however, has not been able to help PSG get over the hump in Europe, with the club going out in the quarter-finals in his first season and the last 16 in each of the past three campaigns. 

This year, they were eliminated by Manchester United despite holding a 2-0 aggregate lead heading into the home leg.