Manchester United's forward determined to decimate arch-rivals City in today's Manchester derby
Manchester: Manchester United’s Angel di Maria insists his friendship with City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Co will not lessen his desire to win in Sunday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United's Angel di Maria
“There are no friendships out on the pitch,” Di Maria said. “Once you are on the field, you forget all that. Everyone, no matter which side you are on, is fighting for the shirt. You are defending the pride of your colours.”
United could field five Manchester derby debutants on Sunday, but they will all know about the importance of the match as they have been given a talk by Ryan Giggs in the build up.
“We know it’s a very important match for United. We also know it’s a very important match for the city,” Di Maria said. “We will be doing our absolute best to make sure the red half of the city is happy at the end of the game.” Di Maria could have been playing for City this weekend had things gone differently this summer.
The World Cup runner-up was reportedly offered to City twice before he moved to United. He insists United were the only serious bidders for his signature but Manuel Pellegrini hinted on Friday the only reason why he did not sign the 26-year-old was because of Financial Fair Play penalties.
“We had important restrictions on the amount of players we can have this year and also the amount of money we can spend,” the City boss said. Di Maria knows he will get some stick off City fans and their Argentine contingent if United lose, but he knows all about the shame of losing a big derby. He had the unpleasant experience of losing against Newell’s Old Boys when he was on the books of Rosario Central. The fixture, known as El Clasico Rosario, is one of the most fiercely-contested matches in South America. “Derby games can be a nightmare over there. If you lost it would be a case of being not able to go out - not just for two or three days - but two or three weeks - until you got it out of your system,” Di Maria said.
Live tonight: Manchester City vs Manchester United: Star Sports 4, 19:00