Di Maria: I almost joined Barcelona in 2017

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"Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain", four-time victor Messi told the Mirror.

"My move to Barca was really close but ultimately it did not go through", Di Maria told TyC Sports.

The arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe had the potential to drastically reduce Di Maria's game time at PSG this season, but he has actually featured fairly often.

"But I started 2018 on a good foot, though, and I am really happy, I like assisting goals more than scoring them".

Di Maria has managed an impressive 13 goals in 28 appearances so far this season, and is thriving alongside the likes of Neymar, Draxler and Cavani.

Barcelona face Premier League champions Chelsea in the last-16, with the first leg of the tie at Stamford Bridge on February 20.

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He said: 'Messi is always the best, he's the best every year.

Angel Di Maria is one of just a few footballers who have played alongside both Ronaldo and Messi - the Argentine starred next to Ronaldo during his time at Real, and features with Messi in their national team.

And Di Maria heaped praise on the five-time Ballon d'Or victor, despite winning the Champions League and LaLiga alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid.

A former teammate of Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's has praised the Portuguese but insisted his biggest rival Lionel Messi is from another planet.

"There are no words to describe Messi, he always surprises you".

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