Angel Di Maria Named Argentina Footballer of the Year


Let’s play a little game. I give you three great footballers and you tell me which of the three you would pick to put on your favorite team.

Option # 1 – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Option # 2 – Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

Option # 3 – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Alright, on the count of three, scream you answer as loud as you possibly can so I can hear you up here in Seattle.

1… 2… 3…

Whoa, it’s like I just heard a chorus of angels all singing the same name – LIONEL MESSI

Of course the answer is Messi.

To say that I would pick La Pulga over Di Maria and Aguero is not in any way a slight toward the other two. But let’s face it, there is no debate. Given these three options, you would have to be judging a beauty pageant instead of football skills to pick either Aguero or Di Maria (and if it was a beauty pageant, I think Aguero wins).

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I love all three players and feel blessed that one of them is playing for my favorite club, but come on; Messi is, well, he is Messi. He is a once in a lifetime talent and someone we are blessed to be witnessing in his prime.

So why in the world would the Argentine Sports Journalist give the Olimpia de Plata award for the Footballer of the Year in Argentina to Angel Di Maria?

Take a look first and Angel Di Maria’s stats this season for club and country:

Games – 42

Goals – 7

Assists – 25

Now check out Lionel Messi’s production in 2014:

Games – 65

Goals – 56

Assists – 21

Not to mention that Messi won the World Cup player of the tournament award and is one of three finalists for the Ballon d’Or.

So what excuse do they have down in Argentina for giving the award to Di Maria?

Umm, I don’t know… boredom?

Messi has won the award every year since 2007 and took home the crown in 2005. Going into the ceremony on Tuesday night, Leo Messi had won eight out of the last nine years. My only explanation is that after pulling the same name out of the envelope year after year, they decided it was time for a change.

Now I may not agree with that rationale, and who knows if that is or is not what was going through their heads, but even if it was, are we sure that Di Maria deserves the award more than Sergio Aguero?

Prior to his injury, Kun Aguero was one of the most in-form strikers in the world and is currently the best goal scorer in Premier League history based on goals per minutes played.

So why Di Maria instead of Aguero? I am left with only one explanation – the Champions League final.

Angel Di Maria was the best player on the pitch in Lisbon back in May. His creativity and pace from the wing was the primary reason Real Madrid was able to get back in the game and eventually win it in extra time.

Real Madrid won their 10th UCL title and Di Maria was named Man of the Match, which probably added an extra $10 million to his transfer fee for that one match alone.

To be honest, who knows why Angel Di Maria was named the best footballer in Argentina. Di Maria is great, and he is one of the best, but in 2014, he was not THE best and Messi should have once again been given another piece of hardware for his trophy room.

But let’s take a few minutes to appreciate Angel Di Maria’s greatness anyways.

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