Di Maria looks to fill Neymar's shoes

Unai Emery is likely to choose Angel Di Maria to replace the injured Neymar in their Champions League second leg against Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes. It is the logical conclusion after what happened in the Coupe de France against Marseille on Wednesday, as Di Maria scored two goals in the Brazilian's absence. The Argentine was a substitute when his side played Real Madrid in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu but did not play a single minute in his side's 3-1 defeat. It was something that did not sit well the ex-Madrid player or his wife, Jorgelina Cardoso, who expressed her thoughts forcefully on social networks. "Your efforts + your extra work + your goals + assists + your moment = benched [sic]. And they say that those who do not understand anything about football are women," she wrote. The Argentine's camp was not alone in criticising Emery after the defeat in Madrid. So too did Thiago Silva's partner, another substitute who did not play against Los Blancos. Now, with injuries to Neymar and Marquinhos, the Basque coach must rely on both players to help his side progress to the next round. Di Maria played for four years (2010-2014) in Madrid and he left with many highlights to his name, including putting Carles Puyol in a knot in a Copa del Rey match, a goal in the final (also against Barcelona) and his tremendous play in the final for the Decima victory in Lisbon. He was a player who accused Florentino Perez of not having him among his favorites, which ultimately led to his departure. If that were not enough, he has since flirted with joining Barcelona on several occasions. Di Maria has no qualms about doing so because he considers his time at Madrid 'closed', although he has tried to return to the club on a couple of occasions. He will not be alone against Madrid, as he will be accompanied by the Parc des Princes and all their fans. On Thursday, the French club released a video appealing for support. The message can be summarized in one sentence: "Together we succeed." Source: All Football

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