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PSG target C League glory with Di Maria

 PSG midfielder Angel Di Maria flashes two thumbs up as he poses next to a poster during his official presentation in Paris on August 6, 2015. PHOTO/AFP

PSG midfielder Angel Di Maria flashes two thumbs up as he poses next to a poster during his official presentation in Paris on August 6, 2015. PHOTO/AFP

PARIS, August 6- Paris Saint-Germain are confident Angel di Maria can be the man to help them conquer Europe after completing the signing of the Argentina winger on Thursday.

The 27-year-old penned a four-year deal at the Parc des Princes after PSG agreed to pay Manchester United 63 million euros (£44.3m; $68.9m) to make him the second most expensive signing in French football history.

Released from the constraints of Financial Fair Play after UEFA relaxed their controversial rules earlier this summer, the French champions have made their biggest splash in the transfer market since paying 64 million euros to sign Edinson Cavani from Napoli in July 2013.

Laurent Blanc’s side’s dominance of the domestic scene was complete last season, when they claimed an unprecedented clean sweep of the domestic honours, winning the treble of Ligue 1, French Cup and League Cup after taking the season-opening Champions Trophy.

They have already won the Champions Trophy this season with a comfortable 2-0 win against Lyon, their closest challengers in the last campaign.

The squad was already good enough to win more silverware at home, but PSG’s Qatari owners are convinced securing long-time target Di Maria can help them become the first French team since Marseille in 1993 to be champions of Europe.

“It is a real honour for the club to finally sign Angel and continue our great European dream. Our great ambition as everyone knows is the Champions League,” said club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“We are close to our dream. We will try this year. Angel will really give something extra to the team, especially in the Champions League. I hope he can win it with us.”

Paris have reached the Champions League quarter-finals in each of the last three seasons, with two defeats at that stage to Barcelona sandwiching a loss on away goals to Chelsea in 2014.

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“There were clubs I could have gone to but my desire to be in this project and help them to win the Champions League is why I chose to come here,” said Di Maria as he was unveiled to the media in a luxurious Paris hotel, close to the Eiffel Tower.

– Easier adaptation –

The biggest criticism of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, their talisman over the past three campaigns, is that he has never made a big enough impact in Europe, wherever he has been in his career.

The Swede will be 34 in October and is now entering what will be his last season in the French capital, while Di Maria arrives looking to win the Champions League for the second time after his triumph with Real Madrid in 2014.

On that night in Lisbon, Di Maria was probably Madrid’s best player as they beat their city rivals Atletico after extra time, but just a few months later he had left for United for a British record transfer fee of £59.7 million.

And yet, the former Rosario Central and Benfica star will be remembered as a costly mistake by the Old Trafford club.

Not helped by being shunted around in several different positions by manager Louis van Gaal, he lacked consistency and there was also the trauma of being at home with his family when burglars tried to break in.

He never settled in England but adapting to life in Paris will be easier with compatriots Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore there to help him.

“For my wife and daughter it is wonderful to be able to come and live in Paris,” said the slightly-built Di Maria, who can play in midfield as well as on the wing.

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“I know Pocho (Lavezzi). He has been here for various years and has been saying that it is a beautiful city. I also came because of my friendship with him.”

That said, Lavezzi is one of those who may have the most to lose with the arrival of Di Maria, who is likely to team up with Cavani and Ibrahimovic in Blanc’s strongest starting line-up.

PSG fans will have to wait for his debut, however, with Di Maria behind in his pre-season preparations after coming away from the Copa America in Chile last month with a thigh injury.

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0 Comments

  1. Kwessi Pratt

    July 28, 2012 at 6:23 am

    There are alot of people in this country unable to sustain themselves without resorting to deception. Some of these lots are turning out to be Raila and his outfits in the name of pollsters. The so called opinion pollsters dont even want to adhere to new strictures set out by the law. Some of them, like this Infotrak whatever, are certainly presenting challenges that must be quickly addressed. The outfit just released opinion polls that can hardly pass test of law. As expected with them, PM Raila tops the scales! Apparentlty, he is in a position to win 27 counties if elections were to be held today. The outfit is neither telling us how it arrived at that seemingly impossible feat, nor how that was established. And to add insult to injury, other presidential candidates are purportedly only confined to their respective tribal enclaves! That can never ever be the case.

    This notorious pollster needs to tell Kenyans, as required by the law, who financed them in this particular case. They also need to tell us why they normally come up with these polls only when Raila is undersiege. Is it a mere coincidence or deliberate attempt to fool Kenyans? This unshameful outfit should tell us why it wants to depict Raila as the only national leader in a crowded field of over 8 presidential candidates. Interestingly, Raila happens to be the only candidate that has lost enormous support across the country!

    State security agencies should swiftly move in against this lie-driven outfit to find the truth. We should avoid repeat of 2007/8 situation at all costs. They must first establish why the outfit is not following the law. They have not attempted to explain how they conducted their polls. Needless to say, this outfit has now run 2 opinion polls in as many days, blatantly without following the new strictures. Of course, the tribal loyalty for Raila is shockingly on display!

    Raila on the other hand and as usual, is displaying unbelievable amount of cowardice. You surely dont create room for others when they are long gone! Why was these party constitutional changes not done when they were really needed? The prospect of serious challenge was obviously bewildering! These are the childish antics that can only find fertile ground in Raila’s deceit-coated courtyard. Kenyans now truly know the characters parading all sorts of fake democratic credentials. It wont work now for liers if it failed to work in the past. Indeed, zero hour has just checked in!!!!

    • ObieK

      August 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Kwessi:
      Kenya has totally changed, and if you feel Infotrak is violating the law of the land you can move to court and sue. You do not have to wait for the law enforcement agency to investigate, for no crime has been committed.

      • Kwessi Pratt

        August 16, 2012 at 7:39 am

        @Obiek: You are wasting your time giving unsolicited advice. I perhaps dont want you to be my Miguna! Having said that, you must understand that its plain that this outfit of merchants of deceit is not following the law. That we are able to realize that is in itself, a pointer to whats in the offing. Of course, am certain you feel pretty bad when I say it the way it should be. We know for sure that since we are exposing the fooling, guys like you, who are primed to unquestionably consume lies, find it hard to to see it differently. But you only need to ask yourself why somebody, who incidentally is the only one to have lost alot of people across the board, would supposedly be leading? And he hasnt lost just some ordinary voters, but prime tribal kingpins who had used their respective tribal support to make things happen! In any case, before coming together of those folks, there was silent unwritten law that no jang’o was electable!

        Why do you think violence was unleashed on Kenyans? It was precisely because a life time golden opportunity was slipping away, with no prospect at all of ever checking in again. Infact, when in 2010 Nairobi Law Monthly wrote that Raila’s numbers didnt add up, they were exactly alluding to that evaporation of collaterals! The Monthly even went a head to say that he had no all important commanders. And that was long long before Miguna Miguna came on the scene! However, in luo psyche, everything is still too perfect and actually, as far as they are concerned, its a matter of time before their idol landed at state house! Talk of wishful thinking pal! Opportunity is only one dear, it never comes back. Moreso, when you arrogantly forget that it had been engineered by certain friendly folks!

        • ObieK

          August 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm

          Let’s wait for the people of Kenya to decide on who the next President of the Republic of Kenya will be when the election day comes. We pray and hope that they will be fair, no rigging, and thus no rush to swearing a democratically elected president of the people in privacy or in the middle of the night.
          Let me inform you that I am not an ethnic chauvinist. I was raised in Nairobi and have my friends are very diverse. I do not associate with my colleagues based on their ethnic affiliation, but rather on their character.
          All this individual bashing and name calling will not help our young Nation advance politically or socio-economically. The campaigning should be issue driven as opposed to personality attacks or ethnic bashing.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            August 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

            @Obiek: We are pretty waiting to decide who is going to be our next leader. You need not remind us, for if anything, with have extreme fixation with that. There is nothing wrong with being sworn in as president at night. Especially so when you are trying to prevent mischievious fellows from precipitating a constitutional crisis. But since merchants of deceit have used that as the main reason behind fake election theft, gullible fellows fed with nonsense, hold the view that its supposedly worse than criminal offence. Nothing is further from the truth pal! Any elected president has a duty to prevent any constitutional crisis at all costs. Facing court orders driven by rampant lies and malicious propaganda, is one clear reason to act swiftly.

            Its good you are trying to lay off tribalism, albiet mischieviously, given that your previous posts clearly point to the opposite. But I hope you are this time genuine my friend. The moment you see the light, we walk hand in hand my dear. No one is involved in name calling here. But only putting it the way it should pal. Anyone who denounces negative enthicity automatically becomes my closest friend. We are attempting to change the way our folks think. There has been alot of lies in many many very very important issues. Am sure you have picked up a few grains from me. My keenness in watching our political class has really kept me informed. I thank the Almighty God for that. Please you should truly free yourself from maddening lies that largely cripple our thoughts.

          • ObieK

            August 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

            For the upteenth time I am not a tribalism demagogue. I do not prescribe to it, and I have never been an advocate. I speak several Kenyan languages, I am very much a part and parcel of the Kenyan melting pot as opposed to the boiling pot where the contents are being spewed out. In the melting pot we blend and amalgamate, as opposed to disintegrating. I look forward into a Nation where all and sundry will be judged by their character , as opposed to their ethnicity (i.e by the origin of one’s name).
            I am not enslaved/bound by any “maddening” lies, I am a free thinker with a sound mind and ability to decipher and analyze information. If I was not, I would not be engaging you in this forum.
            I am educated and informed, and believe in what Robert Frost wrote : ” education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing or your self-confidence”.
            I have led a “rich” social life with my fellow Kenyan brethren, and to date if I meet a Kenyan and they ask me the nonsensical question ” wewe ni kabila gani” I inform them I am a Kenyan. If they insist, I dismiss them.
            I truly admire and love what Julius Nyerere did for Tanzania, they are a “tribeless” nattion, to the extent that they can identify a Kenyan. The Kenyan meeting a Tanzanian will ask them, “wewe ni kabila gani?”, and the Tanzanian will say “you must be a Kenyan! For in Tanzania, they are a truly one people, unlike the Kenyan people. They even extend the export the stupid question abroad. So my fellow Kenyan, I am not crippled or bound by any backward thoughts. I am a crusader for a better Kenya where we all commune together as a people with a common destiny and aspirations.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            August 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

            @Obiek: I now admire your stuff, at least you have now started sounding pretty positive! I just want to believe that you are truly genuine this time round. We want guys who are able to understand with certainity that Kenyans have been washed with mud of lies for far too long. Thats the way to go sir! Tribe is nothing fronted by those who are armed with insecurity to take kenyans in empty circles. It has to stop.
            Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania came from a very small tribe. And that might have forced him to embrace national oneness. He could also have been genuine and truly for real unity amongst his fellow country. Its pretty hard to understand what fired him up. But it was certainly for the good of all Tanzanians. History will forever have a soft spot for him.

            In Kenya, the situation was totally different. The guys who surrounded our founding father of the nation, negatively saw the importance of big tribe lording on the small ones. President Kenyatta was also very tribal to the extreme. He used state power to build a tribal kingdom that was unequaled. The “quit notice” of 70’s that was supposed to take businesses/wealth from foreigners and distribute them to Kenyans, was singularly used to reward cronies. It was the worst imaginable abuse of state power ever witnessed on earth.

            All those who surrounded Kenyatta were given buildings, prime lands, etc. Even the problem of theft that has put our central region under undeclared state of emergency, is rooted in Kenyatta’s leadership. Kenyatta would occassionally tell all those who cared to listen that you should steal to get wealth but when you are caught, dont say is him who told you as much. Obvioulsy, he meant we steal from those who then had wealth, like Arabs, Asians and whites. But he didnt want to be seen as a racist. Thus, he dropped blanket information that led our people to embrace conning, thieving and worse! Of course, our guys will rise up in arms against my assertions, but you only need to go back to president Kenyatta’s speeches and will be shocked to the core by his utterances.

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