In a heartfelt announcement on his Instagram account, Benfica footballer Angel Di Maria has declared his intention to retire from the Argentina national team following the Copa America next year. This decision comes just a day after a video surfaced online depicting an altercation between Di Maria and Brazil fans during a recent match in Rio de Janeiro.
The video captured the moment when Brazil fans, situated in the upper level of the Maracana stadium, poured beer on Di Maria. In retaliation, Di Maria spat in their direction. This incident has sparked outrage among both fans and the media, with many calling for Di Maria's suspension from the national team.
The experienced Argentine announced his retirement via Instagram
Despite the controversy, Di Maria remains adamant about his retirement plans. In his Instagram post, he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to represent Argentina for the past 16 years, highlighting the Copa America and the World Cup as the pinnacle of his international career.
"The Copa America will be the last time I wear the Argentina jersey," Di Maria wrote. "With pain and a big lump in my throat, I say goodbye to the most beautiful thing that happened to me in my career. I wore this jersey, sweated in it, and wore it with pride.
Thanks to the fans, family, friends, and teammates, we are making history, and it will be forever. Go Argentina!" Di Maria's decision to retire marks the end of an era for the Argentina national team. He has been a key player for the team for many years, and his absence will undoubtedly be felt.
However, fans can take solace in the fact that Di Maria will leave his mark on the team's history, having played a pivotal role in their recent successes. Together with Messi and other teammates, Di Maria won the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup. The Copa America will be held from June 20 to July 14, 2024.