Is Di Maria Worth It?

It has been one point shy of a nightmare start for Louis Van Gaal in the premier league. Following a lackluster defeat to Swansea at home, Manchester United bagged a point in week two away to Sunderland. Things cannot get much worse for the Dutchman, but with the addition of Marcos Rojo, and the imminent signing of Angel Di Maria, things are looking to improve.

It is widely believed that Angel Di Maria will be unveiled as a Manchester United player Tuesday morning, having completed his move to Old Trafford for a fee in the region of 60 million pounds.

This will break the English transfer record by 10 million pounds, so one has to wonder if Di Maria is worth the fee. However, the way things are going at Manchester United right now, it’s a given that the club will have to overpay players of Di Maria’s pedigree to join.

The 130,000 pound-per-week wage package given to Luke Shaw was heavily criticized by Jose Mourinho of all people. These comments mean a lot coming from «The Special One», who has spent more than any manager in the world since 2004 (now over 900 million euros) and would be better suited for the title «The Spending One.»

Part dig at a rival club, and part truth, this accusation that United are overpaying for Luke Shaw is completely spot-on. Mourinho justifies this by saying a deal that large for a 19 year old would derail morale amongst the older players, but United would not have the youngster had they not stumped up that amount of money.

United are not in a position of leverage right now as they had been for decades under Alex Ferguson. Liverpool are exiting their own era in which they had to overpay for players, while United are taking their turn dealing with the cruel nature of the transfer market. Coming off a seventh-place finish in the league and no Champions League football to show for it, United are in the precarious position of being forced to pay top dollar for everything.

Di Maria is no exception to this, but even so, the fee is very, very steep. Paris Saint Germain were priced out of a deal for Di Maria a month ago, so Van Gaal must be beyond impressed by the Argentine to shell out this much cash for him.

Di Maria showed his worth to Argentina in the World Cup, and was awarded man of the match in the UEFA Champions League Final against Atletico Madrid. His pace is unquestionable, and although he has shortcomings defensively, Van Gaal will accommodate these with the team he puts on the field.

However, it remains to be seen if Di Maria can be ‘the man’ for a team. For Argentina, he always plays off of Lionel Messi, while Madrid have their own fair share of world-beaters to grab headlines. Stepping out from under the shadow of these players will be a big step in the career of the Argentine.

Di Maria impressed me greatly last season when he still managed a spectacular year with the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham. The Argentine played more through the middle than he had in years past and was a catalyst for both club and country with a more free role.

If Di Maria can handle the rockstar-type media attention that will hover over him like a dark cloud, he could very well justify the 60 million pounds United are paying for his services. Earlier in the summer, Di Maria turned down a lucrative contract extension, and given the arrival of James and the presence of Bale, it’s no surprise he has moved on.

Coming off Champions League glory in Lisbon and a silver medal in Brazil, Di Maria easily could have signed a bigger deal and sat around in Madrid likely surrounding time to the likes of Isco, Modric, and James. The winger’s desire is on full display right now; he has left the Galacticos in favor of spearheading a rebuilding project.

The Argentine is stepping out from the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo and taking it upon himself to be ‘the man’ at Old Trafford. In fact, it is rumored that Ronaldo had to do with Di Maria’s decision to join United. It would be poetically just if the Argentine brought back the same flair that has been missing from Old Trafford since Ronaldo left.

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Soccer Shoes and Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying Them

Did you ever wonder why people wear soccer shoes during games like soccer, football, and basketball? It is so because the soccer shoes have spikes in them. Games like soccer need constant running on the ground without a break. Regular footwear is of no aid in these games. They won’t provide you much support and you also may end up getting hurt. The spikes fixed at the bottom of these soccer shoes dig into the muddy and grassy ground and helps in running and taking sudden turns. They provide traction. They are of immense support while you are running in the ground. Soccer shoes are made of leather and come in low cuts with a cushion that can be removed if you do not like it.

Soccer shoes provide all the balance you need on a rough ground during your instant turns, cuts, sprints, and skids. The gap prevents it from trapping dirt and grass between them and make running easier. The spikes are distributed evenly in the toe and foot area to gives you proper grip even on sloppy surfaces.

It is known by various names. The spikes for the soccer shoes is of three kinds rubber, metal, and plastic. If they come out of the shoes then don’t worry, they can be reattached. Soccer shoes are lightweight so that you do not feel a load on your legs pulling you down while running. Plus they are compatible with all kinds of surface. Edge around the toes is hardly stitched that assist in proper kicking. Due to heavy stitching, the layer also won’t come out. Keep these things in mind before buying them.

Find out your perfect size – If you are about to buy a new pair of soccer shoes then it is better to do some digging on the internet before. If you are buying them for the first time then it is important to know the right size. Do the measurements before and then choose the one that fits you perfectly.

Another important factor to keep in mind while choosing them is your position and method of playing. They are made of different materials for different players depending on the position they take in the field. Goalkeepers need soccer shoes that provide them more traction and help in sudden jumping. Wingers keep on changing their direction so they need ones that do not trip them during turns. Defensive players need more protection to their feet which are in danger of getting hit most. Midfielders should select the ones that provide comfort while they run non-stop.

It is necessary that your soccer shoes fit you properly or if it is tight or loose then it can cause hindrance while you play. The upper should be tight to give a proper fit but not too tight to squeeze your toes.

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FC Barcelona – The Rivalry With Real Madrid

As long as there have been sport teams, there have been rivalries. Whether it’s the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the two rival teams inevitably end up meeting again and again, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona (also known as Barça by its fans) and Real Madrid are two of the earliest Spanish football teams, both forming in the 1890s. From the start, the two teams were seen as representatives of two rival regions of Spain, the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Catalonia. Both teams were part of La Liga, a Spanish football league and a rivalry that went far beyond football quickly took root.

It was during and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, such as Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had long been associated with more progressive fashions and political ideas, such as democracy-which was the diametric opposite of Franco’s dictatorial regime. FC Barcelona suffered as a result of being a part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, on the other hand, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) as the «establishment» club. Though Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.

The fierce rivalry continued into the 1950s when both clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid eventually won out and Alfredo Di Stefano went on to lead them to many wins. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went head-to-head twice at the European Cup in the 1960s, with Real Madrid winning one and FC Barcelona winning the other. The two teams clashed once again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed against each other again in the UEFA Champions League semi-final in 2002, with Real Madrid getting the win. The Spanish media dubbed the match «The Match of the Century».

In the mid-2000s, the rivalry ascended to further heights when it acquired its own name, El Clasico. The term El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, but the growth of football in the Americas coupled with these two great teams’ rivalry led to the coining of the term as applied to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was mostly a marketing scheme communicated via GolTV, an all-football satellite channel, but the term has been embraced by fans worldwide.

El Clasico shows no signs of slowing. To this very day, the two teams inevitably seek each other out on the field to find out who is the best team in Spain. Sometimes FC Barcelona wins and sometimes Real Madrid wins, but ultimately football fans worldwide are the ones who win whenever these two giants meet on the field.

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