Di Maria to retire from Argentina duty after Copa America 2024

Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2023 by ESPN

Di Maria to retire from Argentina duty after Copa America 2024

Argentina winger Angel Di Maria said on Tuesday that the 2024 Copa America will be his last tournament with the Albiceleste, ending a 16-year run with the national team.

"I will leave the Argentina national team after the Copa America. It's over for me, it will be the last tournament," the World Cup winner told Argentina radio Urbana Play 104.3

Di Maria, who isn't part of Argentina's squad for this week's CONMEBOL qualifiers due to injury, said one of the reasons for his return to Benfica -- the team he broke through with in Europe in 2007 -- from Juventus was to help him reach next year's Copa America in good shape.

"I came to Benfica to maintain my options of being able to continue in the national team," Di Maria said. "I knew I had to play in a good team in order to be at a good level. I want to play in the next Copa America and I'm doing everything possible to be my best in my club and every time I play for Argentina."

The 2024 Copa America will be held between June 20 and July 14 in the United States.

Di Maria became a hero for his country after scoring goals in the two finals in which Argentina won trophies over the past two years. He scored the only goal against Brazil in the Copa America final in 2021 and the first one for his team in the win over France at the 2022 World Cup final.

"I said it many times to my family, the Copa America changed our lives forever," Di María said. "Because it was always getting there [to the finals] and losing it, until the day I came home and they told me 'this time you won it'.

"After being a world champion, people recognize you everywhere. I take my daughters to school in Portugal and there are children who are five or six years old and they tell me: 'You're a world champion.' That's the only thing they know about me."

Di María, who also played for Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid during his prolific career in Europe, has scored 29 goals for Argentina. In addition to the World Cup and Copa America titles, he won the gold medal in Beijing 2008 with Argentina and the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2007.

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