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Di Maria leaves Juventus as a free agent

Di Maria

OFFICIAL: Di Maria, 35, has left Juventus as a free agent.

Angel Di Maria is likely to make a spectacular comeback to Benfica, 13 years after leaving the club after leaving Juventus after a single season in Serie A.

The 35-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Turin club last summer, following a seven-year stint with PSG, and had a strong individual season in what was a turbulent year for the club.

Di Maria was most notable for his role in Argentina’s World Cup victory midway through the season, scoring the second goal in the team’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory over France.

Juventus, who finished seventh in Serie A last season after being docked ten points for financial breaches, praised the winger in a statement announcing his departure on Thursday.

‘After one season in black and white, Angel Di Maria and Juventus have parted company,’ the club said in a statement.

‘One of Bianconero’s most memorable moments was his first goal against Sassuolo, a well-taken volley that threw the Allianz Stadium into raptures.

‘Thank you for everything, Fideo, and best wishes for the future!’

Di Maria is set to return to Benfica, which he left in 2010 to join Real Madrid.

Negotiations between the Portuguese club and Di Maria have reached the “final stages,” according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, with a deal close to completion.

Di Maria rose to popularity during his three-year stint with Benfica after joining from Argentine club Rosario Central in 2007.

He won a league title and two league cups in Lisbon before returning to the city to win the Champions League in 2014 after joining Real Madrid for a fee of £21 million.

Di Maria will join a club coached by Roger Schmidt that had a fantastic season last season. For the first time in four seasons, the Eagles won the Portuguese title and finished first in a challenging Champions League group that contained PSG and Juventus.