Di Maria used to lose control, says Ancelotti

The Italian claims that the attacking midfielder often got his own team in trouble and has hailed Toni Kroos’ fine performances this term

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has aimed a dig at Angel Di Maria in the wake of the Argentina international’s move to Manchester United in the summer.

The 26-year-old played a key role in Madrid’s successful Champions League campaign last term and his €75 million sale to Louis van Gaal’s side initially caused deep frustration around the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ancelotti, however, has claimed the Argentina international could often upset the rhythm of his side by losing the ball – though he has warned James Rodriguez should not be seen as a replacement for Di Maria’s role.

“Di Maria could take matches by storm with his energy, but he also used to lose control sometimes, misplacing important passes,” Ancelotti told Onda Cero.

“People should think twice before saying that James can fill Di Maria’s boots, because they’re very different players.”

The Madrid boss then went on to praise Toni Kroos and stressed that the Germany international is the perfect replacement for Xabi Alonso.

“Kroos is another ‘professor’. He has aced his crash course in replacing Xabi Alonso,” said the Italian.

“I’ve been surprised by the fact that he never gets on edge. He always plays the same way, whatever the pressure. He’s very important: a lot of our play goes through him.

“What’s more, he’s still very young. He plays at pace, always picks the right pass, doesn’t lose the ball and wins back possession.”

Kroos has made 18 appearances for Madrid in all competitions so far this season, scoring once in the process.

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