The Argentine superstar moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid for a club record £59.7 million in the summer of 2014 [fee via BBC Sport], but while he registered a credible 10 assists in the EPL, he struggled to establish himself in van Gaal’s first team and left the club for PSG after just one season.
He has shone in the French capital this season as Laurent Blanc’s side have romped to the league title in record quick time.
To date, Di Maria has registered 11 assists and scored nine goals in Ligue 1 this season, and has impressed alongside the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura.
Speaking to BBC Sport at the beginning of April, Di Maria had some harsh words to say about van Gaal, whom he accused of shirking responsibility.
“I don’t think it was my fault or the fault of my teammates. Every time I was given the opportunity, I did all I could but it didn’t work out as I hoped,” the winger began.
“So I decided to leave, not only to be happy but to win things. I started a game in one position then the next game in another. I scored goals playing in one position, then suddenly the next game I was picked to play in a different position.”
Clearly irked by the Argentine international’s comments, van Gaal as responded, accusing his former charge of failing to take responsibility for his own failings.
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“I have never seen players who look at themselves, who look to the way they have performed here, and that is always the fault of the manager,” said Van Gaal, as per the Daily Mail.
“So he is one of the players who are in the row of players who have no self-criticism. Unfortunately, it is also my life as a manager. It is always like that.”