The Real Madrid star scored the goal which edged Alejandro Sabella’s men past the Swiss without the need for a penalty shootout, but downplayed his own contribution
By Liam Twomey in Brazil
Angel di Maria insisted that Argentina have a squad of “23 heroes” after his extra-time goal saw off Switzerland in a hard-fought round of 16 encounter at Arena Corinthians.
Di Maria slotted home from a Lionel Messi pass on 118 minutes to edge Alejandro Sabella’s men past the Swiss without the need for a penalty shootout.
But after the match the 26-year-old – who also made a decisive difference in Real Madrid’s 4-1 extra-time Champions League final victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid – was keen to downplay his own contribution.
“It’s not just me,” he insisted. “We have 23 heroes and the coaching staff. We gave our lives.
“We knew that every knockout game is like this. We knew this could happen and we did everything we could with every ball. We did everything very well.
“We had many goal situations, we always tried to play and we never got desperate. We managed it in the end and the victory is more than deserved.”
Argentina will face the winner of Belgium and USA in Brasilia on July 5.