Di Maria: Ronaldo inspired United move


The Red Devils paid a record €75 million (R1.05 billion) for the former Real Madrid winger over the last transfer window, and the talented admits the Portuguese and former United star Ronaldo had a major influence in his move to England.

"Before we knew I was coming to Manchester, he [Ronaldo] told me it's a massive club, I would be very happy here and it would be good for me," Di Maria told United's official website.

"At that time we didn't know for sure that I was coming or not so we didn't go into great detail but what he did say helped me greatly to make my decision."

Di Maria now dons the iconic number 7 shirt at Old Trafford, previously worn by Ronaldo himself, and the Argentine says he is inspired to wear the hallowed jersey at his new club.

"It is a source of motivation," he said. "When you wear a shirt that's been worn by the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, it's something you're always going to be pleased about.

"The fact that the club have chosen to give me that shirt number also gives me a huge confidence boost so that's why I'm very happy to have this number."

Di Maria, who has scored three goals in his first five matches with United, said he is delighted to work under new coach Louis van Gaal, as he eeys a quick return to European football with the English giants.

"We get on very well; he was one of the reasons I came here," he said. "I'm very grateful to him because he wanted to sign me. That makes me happy.

"Also, he's a person who wants to win all the time and to take the club back into the Champions League as quickly as possible, so the focus is very much on that. In every training session and every match we want to give 100 per cent."