Angel Di Maria Names Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Ultimate Teammates XI, Snubs Cristiano Ronaldo

Angel Di Maria Names Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Ultimate Teammates XI, Snubs Cristiano Ronaldo

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • Angel Di Maria has named his favourite XI of all his teammates
  • The Argentine surprisingly omitted Cristiano Ronaldo
  • He included Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lead his attack

World Cup winner Angel Di Maria selected Lionel Messi and Neymar for his dream starting XI from his current and former teammates, conspicuously omitting Cristiano Ronaldo.

The winger assembled a team dominated by Argentina, featuring four defenders, three midfielders, and three attackers.

The nimble left-footed star stands out as one of the most prolific players to have shared the pitch with both Messi and Ronaldo.

Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Angel Di Maria (R) celebrates Cristiano Ronaldo (L) after scoring Real Madrid's third goal during the UEFA Champions League clash against Copenhagen. Photo by Denis Doyle
Source: Getty Images

In a somewhat controversial move, Di Maria selected former Paris Saint-Germain teammates Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the frontline, opting not to include the Portuguese star.

Per Sportskeeda, the ex-Real Madrid star holds the third position for both the highest number of games played with Ronaldo, totalling 166 games, and goal combinations, with 28.

Di Maria's standing is surpassed only by Mbappe (31 in 151) and Edinson Cavani (29 in 154). In contrast, Messi ranks 13th for games played together (136) and sixth for goal combinations (15).

Di Maria's ideal XI

Spending an impressive seven seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, Di Maria, in his lengthiest tenure with any team, curated his ultimate XI, which showcased three of the club's greatest players—Mbappe, Ibrahimovic, and Neymar.

His sole UEFA Champions League triumph during the 2013-14 season with Real Madrid influenced him to include former Los Blancos comrades Marcelo and Sergio Ramos in his ideal XI.

Acknowledging his tenure at Benfica, he paid tribute by incorporating the iconic Portuguese midfielder Rui Costa, with whom he played an entire season in 2007-08.

Nevertheless, the zenith of his career materialized with the Argentina national team, achieving triumph in the FIFA World Cup of 2022, per All About Argentina.

In his ideal XI, he incorporated three standout players from that triumphant campaign: goalkeeper Emi Martinez, centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, and, 8-time Ballon d'Or winner, Messi.

Di Maria slams Messi critic

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Angel Di Maria took to Instagram to counter Lothar Matthaus' comments, dismissing his doubts about Lionel Messi's worthiness of winning his eighth Ballon d'Or.

As Messi's teammate in the national squad, Di Maria hit back at the legendary German player's critique of the Ballon d'Or decision.

Matthaus, who has expressed his deep appreciation for the 36-year-old, proposed that the Golden Ball should have been awarded to Erling Haaland rather than the Argentine maestro.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)