Angel Di Maria: ‘I was about to go to a psychologist’ after losing three finals

Angel Di Maria

Argentina winger Angel Di Maria admits he considered retiring after more final heartbreak in the summer.

The Copa America loss to Chile in June led to a number of senior players considering their future, with Lionel Messi announcing his retirement only to backtrack a couple of months later.

Di Maria also considered quitting before deciding to continue and after playing in Argentina’s two World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela last month is set to line up against Peru in Lima.

“I thought about leaving selection. Once you can lose a final but three in a row (World Cup 2014 and two Copa Americas) is something else,” he told Argentinian television channel TyCSports.

“I had no choice but to keep fighting to make the best possible effort.

“It is not easy to get to a final and win the title but we are the first to want to achieve it – but it is frustrating banging your head against the wall three times.

“I was about to go to a psychologist but decided not to because it is an issue that I have to solve alone.

“If I lose another final I think I will not return but today I only think positive.”

Team-mate Gonzalo Higuain echoed those sentiments, although he stressed he was not of the same mind after another Copa America defeat.

“People criticise me for missing a dogfight but I will never doubt what I am,” said the Juventus striker.

“I never thought to leave the team. What remains is to continue, fight and we can turn this to us. That’s why we’re here.”

Argentina are third in their World Cup qualifiying group having returned to action after the Copa America with a win over pool leaders Uruguay and a draw against bottom side Venezuela having come from 2-0 down.

Peru, next-bottom of the group, could pose similar difficulties as both their wins so far have come at home.

Coach Ricardo Gareca has been slightly disappointed by the eight matches of qualifying so far which has brought just seven points.

“In terms of expectations, I had higher, but we are still in time to correct that,” he told a press conference.

“I know that we will have the support of the fans and hopefully we can give them satisfaction and joy.”

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