Argentine striker Di Maria to retire from international duty after next year’s Copa America

Veteran Argentine striker Angel Di Maria (35-Benfica) has announced his retirement from the national team after next year’s Copa America (South American Soccer Championship) in June and July.

“The Copa America will be my last tournament in an Argentina shirt,” Di Maria wrote on social media on Thursday (June 24).

“With all the pain in my soul, with the feeling of bruises on my neck, I say goodbye to the most beautiful thing in my career, the thing that made me sweat and feel proud to wear that jersey,” he wrote.

After thanking his fans, family, and teammates, he added his support for the national team, saying, “We are making history, and it will stay with us forever.”

Di María has represented Argentina at the senior level since 2008, scoring 29 goals in 136 appearances. He ranks fourth on Argentina’s all-time list for appearances and seventh for goals.

He helped Argentina win the 2021 Copa America and last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

In the Copa America final against Brazil, he scored the winning goal to secure a 1-0 victory, and in the World Cup final against France in Qatar, he set up Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) with a penalty kick and then scored the winning goal to make it 2-0.

In Argentina’s most recent A-League match, a South American qualifier for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup against Brazil on Sept. 22, he came on as a second-half substitute for Messi.

Reflecting on the match, Di María said, “I can’t describe how much the fans’ support filled my soul. I enjoyed every moment with my teammates and friends.”

He also pointed out the heavy-handedness of the Brazilian police during the crowd disturbances at the Maracanã main stadium before the game.

“We can’t ignore what happened in the stadium. No one deserves to be treated badly, much less beaten,” he said. “We don’t want to see families and children scared in the middle of the stadium when all they should be doing is watching and enjoying the game. The players will also protect the fans,” he emphasized.

Di Maria began his professional career with Argentine club Rosario Central, followed by spells at Benfica (Portugal), Real Madrid (Spain), Manchester United (England), Paris Saint-Germain (France), and Juventus (Italy). He returned to his hometown club Benfica in July this year and has scored seven goals in all competitions this season. 사설토토

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