Angel Di Maria is seen as one of the most skilful footballers of his generation. The former Benfica wide man's ability to perform tricks and neatly pick a pass made him one of the most difficult players for defenders to come across. Di Maria was at the peak of his powers during his time at Real Madrid and Barcelona captain Carles Puyol once suffered the ignominy of performing the split in front of the Real Madrid man during El Clasico 2013.
Real Madrid faced arch-rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final in 2013. After the first leg was tied 1-1, the onus was on both teams to get the job done in the second leg. Real Madrid started well with Cristiano Ronaldo slotting home a penalty handing Los Blancos the lead. However, the moment of the match arrived when Angel Di Maria produced a touch of brilliance to deceive Carles Puyol before taking a shot at goal. Barcelona captain Carles Puyol was left in a split and Angel Di Maria's shot rebounded by the keeper's effort which was then tucked in by Ronaldo. Raphael Varane scored the third before Jordi Alba scored a consolation to end the semi-final clash 4-2 on aggregate.
O dia em que o Di Maria aposentou o Puyol por invalidez. 😏pic.twitter.com/Hp0iPrWRVP— Luiz (@Aporla_14) April 7, 2020
Carles Puyol was approaching the end of his legendary career and the 2010 World Cup winner announced his retirement post the 2013-14 season. The 2013-14 season was also Angel Di Maria's final LaLiga season, with the Argentine moving to Premier League giants Manchester United for a transfer fee of a reported £59.7 million. After a disappointing season in England, Angel Di Maria was snapped up by Ligue 1 giants PSG and continues to be a part of their setup.