‘Lionel Messi is the only one guaranteed a place’ – Di Maria not taking World Cup spot for granted

World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Argentina v Venezuela

Angel Di Maria is concerned he has yet to do enough to guarantee himself a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad due to uncertainty surrounding his future at the club level.

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

He has been linked with a number of clubs that reportedly Serie A giants Juventus are close to signing a former Manchester United and Real Madrid player on a one-year deal.

Speaking earlier this week, Rosario Central’s newly-appointed manager Carlos Tevez expressed hope he would return Di Maria to Argentina.

Di Maria will no longer be in his new squad before Qatar 2022 starts on November 21, with Argentina in Group C and Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland.

And while he has played a key role in his country’s three-goal qualifying campaign, the free agent does not easily take his place in the 26-man squad.

“The only one confirmed to be there is Lionel Messi,” Di Maria, who has played in the last three World Cup finals, told TNT Sports.

“Four months from now you don’t know. I have to change clubs, get used to it again, play and feel good – that will make a difference.”

Di Maria is an Argentine player who has played fourth out of 122 players, following Messi (162), Javier Mascherano (147) and Javier Zanetti (145).

He played 31 games for PSG in his final season at Parc des Princes and scored 13 goals – his five goals and eight assistants.

That is just the numbers Neymar (21), Messi (25) and Kylian Mbappe (60) could be the best for PSG players in the 2021-22 campaign.

Juve are still favorites to sign Di Maria and the attacking midfielder has confirmed the Italian team’s interest, and commented on Barcelona’s previous links.

“Juventus is the biggest club in Italy and one of the most exciting clubs in the world,” he said. “Right now I’m thinking positively, but I’m focused on my holidays with my family.

“Barcelona are one of the best teams in the world and I should have played with them before.”

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