Former Manchester United forward Angel Di Maria has launched an attack on the club’s stance over the famous No.7 shirt by stating that he ‘didn’t give a f***’ about wearing it when he was there.
The famous shirt has been synonymous with a series of big names at Old Trafford, including the likes of Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo.
After a 12-year absence, Ronaldo’s sensational return to United was confirmed last Friday.
The evergreen 36-year-old is set to make his second debut for the club a week on Saturday against Newcastle. However, it’s not yet confirmed whether he will reclaim his iconic shirt number.
United are said to have asked the Premier League for special dispensation, which would see Edinson Cavani take the No.21 shirt and allow Ronaldo to continue the CR7 brand.
Di Maria, a former teammate of Ronaldo’s at Real Madrid, meanwhile, struggled to adapt to English football after his ill-fated move to United. And he admits that he completely failed to comprehend the significance of being handed the responsibility of taking the No.7 shirt himself.
“I didn’t give a f*** about the Manchester United No.7,” Di Maria was quoted telling Libero on TyC Sports.
“At first they talked to me a lot about it… it was just a shirt.”
After just one season at Old Trafford, Di Maria moved to PSG and has since got his career back on track.
Speaking about his time in Manchester, he gave the reasons for his failings.
The Argentine added: “My problem at Manchester was the coach. Van Gaal was the worst of my career.
“I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes.
“He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him.”
Neville names best Man Utd front three
Meanwhile, Gary Neville believes that Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood would be the best attacking partners for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
Following a successful summer transfer window, the Red Devils now have several options up front. Jadon Sancho’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund looked to be the one and only addition up front. However, in a shock twist last Friday, United pounced on the opportunity to re-sign Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old has signed a two-year contract and, as a result, United let Daniel James sign for Leeds.
But as well as Cavani, Greenwood, Ronaldo and Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have yet to stamp their marks on the new season.
According to Neville, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should field Greenwood and Cavani alongside Ronaldo.
“I don’t think United will have to adapt too much to his arrival,” the pundit told Sky Sports News. “They have fantastic forward players, good creative players too, with Jadon Sancho wide, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, they should create plenty of chances for him.
“I love Edinson Cavani, so it’s a question of whether they can play either-or, or could they play both?
“Everyone, including me, is expecting him to play as a number nine. But could he play just to the left of Cavani, with Greenwood or Sancho to the right? That would be a guarantee of goals.
“The performances so far, they’ve really struggled in their two away games. But they have a number of players who can go and win a match in a moment. His [Ronaldo’s] willingness and want to score goals is better than anyone.”