Man Utd's Di Maria enjoying English rough and tumble

AFP, Saturday 4 Oct 2014

Angel Di Maria
Manchester United's Angel Di Maria (L) celebrates with team-mate Radamel Falcao after scoring a goal against Leicester City during their English Premier League soccer match at the King Power stadium in Leicester, northern England September 21, 2014. (Photo: AP)

Manchester United's record signing Angel di Maria has revealed that he is relishing the physicality of the Premier League and believes he is already clicking with his new team-mates.

The 26-year-old Argentina winger joined from Real Madrid in a £59.7 million ($98 million, 75 million euros) deal on transfer deadline day and was voted United's player of the month for September.

Despite his slender frame, Di Maria has shone amid the hustle and bustle of the English top flight and he says that he is enjoying playing in a more physically demanding championship.

"It's a more physical, aggressive style of football here. Strength comes into play a lot more," he told journalists during a commercial event involving one of United's sponsors.

"Players here are a lot more powerful and show their strength a lot more. It's another league, but it's all about settling in as quickly as possible.

"There have been other players of a similar build and stature to myself -- slim, if you like -- who have come here and shown a physical resilience in the way that I hope to as well."

Di Maria said he was thrilled to be playing with forwards like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, but admitted that with United having won only two of their first six league games, there is room for improvement.

"It's special. When you start playing, you are aware of names like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, you have seen them playing and know what great players they are," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

"So it's fantastic to have a chance to line up with them. I'm really pleased with how that understanding has started off.

"I think I've settled in, I've got used to the style of play, the club in general, and my team-mates. What we have to strive for now is a series of good results."

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