Argentina Legend Ángel Di María Set to Retire After 2024 Copa America
In the latest breaking news, Argentine winger Ángel Di María has officially announced that the 2024 Copa America will mark the end of his remarkable 16-year international career with the Albiceleste. The World Cup winner revealed his decision during an interview with Argentina radio Urbana Play 104.3, stating, “I will leave the Argentina national team after the Copa America. It’s over for me; it will be the last tournament.”
Di María, who is currently not part of Argentina’s squad due to injury for the CONMEBOL qualifiers, emphasized that his return to Benfica, the club where he first gained recognition in Europe in 2007, was motivated by his desire to be in prime condition for next year’s Copa America.
“I came to Benfica to maintain my options of being able to continue in the national team,” Di María explained. “I knew I had to play in a good team to be at a good level. I want to play in the next Copa America, and I’m doing everything possible to perform at my best both for my club and every time I represent Argentina.”
The 2024 Copa America is scheduled to take place from June 20 to July 14, and it will be hosted in the United States.
Ángel Di María has achieved hero status in Argentina by scoring crucial goals in the finals of major tournaments in the past two years. He scored the decisive goal against Brazil in the Copa America final in 2021 and opened the scoring for his team in the World Cup final against France in 2022.
Di María’s decision to retire from international football after the Copa America next year carries deep sentimental value for him. He shared his feelings during an interview with Todo Pasa, saying, “I said it many times to my family, the Copa America changed our lives forever.”
He continued, “After being a world champion, people recognize you everywhere. I take my daughters to school in Portugal, and some children are five or six years old, and they tell me: ‘You’re a world champion.’ That’s the only thing they know about me.”
Throughout his illustrious career in Europe, which included stints with Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and Real Madrid, Di María has scored 29 goals for the Argentina national team. In addition to winning the World Cup and Copa America, he secured a gold medal with Argentina at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and triumphed at the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2007.
Ángel Di María also expressed his profound admiration for his longtime teammate and close friend, Lionel Messi. He recounted, “With Leo, I accomplished everything. The only thing I was missing was playing in a club with him, and the day they bid farewell to me at PSG, I hugged him and told him: ‘the only thing I’m grateful for is to have been able to play with you in a club, to be able to see you every day.'”
As Ángel Di María’s international journey approaches its conclusion, it’s a poignant moment for fans and fellow players alike, marking the end of an era for Argentine football.