‘Messi is the only one who is guaranteed a place’ – Di Maria does not take the World Cup place for granted

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Angel Di Maria is worried that he has not yet done enough to guarantee himself a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad due to uncertainty about his future at club level.

The 34-year-old is without a club after leaving Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after a seven-season stint in the French capital.

He has been linked with a number of teams, with Serie A giants Juventus reportedly close to agreeing a one-year deal for the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player.

Earlier this week, newly appointed Rosario Central boss Carlos Tevez revealed he hopes to bring Di Maria back to the Argentine club.

Di Maria does not have long to settle on his new team before Qatar 2022 begins on November 21 with Argentina in Group C along with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

And despite playing a key role in his country’s successful three-goal qualifying campaign, the free agent does not take his place in the 26 – man squad for granted.

“The only one who is guaranteed to be there is Lionel Messi,” Di Maria, who has appeared in three previous World Cup finals, told TNT Sports.

“In four months you will not know. I have to change clubs, adapt again, play and feel good – it will make a difference.”

Di Maria is Argentina’s fourth most played player ever with 122 matches, only after Messi (162), Javier Mascherano (147) and Javier Zanetti (145).

He played 31 games for PSG in his final season at the Parc des Princes and recorded 13 goals – five own goals and a further eight assists.

That is a number that only Neymar (21), Messi (25) and Kylian Mbappe (60) could do better among PSG players in the 2021-22 campaign.

Juve remain the favorites to sign Di Maria, and the offensive midfielder confirmed the Italian side’s interest, as well as commenting on previous links to Barcelona.

“Juventus is the biggest club in Italy and one of the teams that is interested in me,” he said. “Right now I’m thinking things through, but I’m focused on my vacation and my family.

“Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world and I have always had to play against them in the past.”

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