Angel Di Maria joins Benfica on a free transfer from Juventus.
Angel Di Maria has returned to Benfica on a free transfer. After leaving Juventus, 13 years after leaving the Portuguese club, he is back again.
The Argentine playmaker joined the Primeira Liga club in 2007 after leaving Rosario Central in his home country.
It comes after a year with Juventus, who opted not to renew his lucrative deal in June.
The club simply tweeted, ‘Welcome back, Di Maria!’ in a tweet confirming his return.
On Thursday night, Benfica will reveal the 2022 World Cup winner in a ceremony outside the Eusebio statue outside their historic Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
That bodes well for their new signing, who won the league and two domestic cups during his previous stint in Portugal.
Di Maria, known as “The Noodle” because of his diminutive stature, departed Benfica in 2010 to join Real Madrid. He became one of the most renowned midfielders in the world while playing for Real Madrid. Di Maria also won the Champions League and La Liga with the Spanish Giants.
Angel di Maria has joined Benfica for the second time
He transferred to Manchester United in 2014 for a then-British record £59.7 million. But following a string of poor performances, it was widely viewed as a mistake. A year later, he moved to PSG, where he played for seven seasons.
It was in Paris that the midfield genius restored his name, winning 18 trophies in all, including five Ligue 1 crowns. During that period, he established himself as the club’s all-time assist leader and ninth-highest goalscorer.
Although his tenure at Juventus won’t be long in the memory, Di Maria will always associate 2022 with his World Cup success.
In Qatar, he scored the second goal in the final to help La Albiceleste win their third World Cup.
It capped off a great international career that saw him win 132 caps.
He joins Benfica at an exciting time for the club, which has already made headway in the transfer market this summer by bringing in ex-Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu, 22.