‘Noodle’ Di Maria succumbs to fragility again

Di Maria is one of Argentina's best attacking players and will be sorely missed in the knockout phase which Argentina has reached with a match to spare before its last Group D game against Bolivia in Seattle on Tuesday.

Angel di Maria... injury worries.   -  AP

The ‘Noodle’ has broken again with Angel di Maria injured during a third consecutive major tournament playing for Argentina at the end of a busy club season.

Di Maria, nicknamed Fideo (noodle) for his thin frame, is out of the Copa America Centenario after a groin injury during Friday’s 5-0 win over Panama in Chicago and is unlikely to play again unless Argentina reaches the June 26 final. He missed the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil after a muscle tear during the quarter-final against Belgium and he injured a hamstring early in the 2015 Copa America final in Chile.

“During the match against Panama, Angel di Maria felt pain on the inside of his right thigh, with tests showing a minor tear in the adductor,” the Argentine FA said in a statement.

Di Maria is one of Argentina's best attacking players and will be sorely missed in the knockout phase which Argentina has reached with a match to spare before its last Group D game against Bolivia in Seattle on Tuesday.

Argentine media reported, citing team sources, that the Paris Saint-Germain winger, a non-stop runner noted for his busy tracking down the wings and pinpoint crosses, would be out at least until the semi-finals.

Di Maria, who had scored his 17th Argentina goal in its opening 2-1 victory over Chile, came off before half-time in the win over Panama, having provided the cross for Nicolas Otamendi's early goal. Lionel Messi, returning from a back injury, came on after an hour and scored a hat-trick, his fourth for Argentina and first in a competitive match.

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