Angel Di Maria is hoping third time’s the charm for Argentina at the upcoming Copa America Centenario after suffering heartbreak in their last two final appearances.
Argentina were defeated in a penalty shoot-out in last year’s Copa America final against Chile, just under 12 months after experiencing an extra-time loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup decider.
Paris Saint-Germain attacker Di Maria missed the game against Germany through injury, and was forced off early in the first half in their loss to Chile with a hamstring complaint.
However, the 28-year-old remains encouraged by Argentina’s achievements heading into the special-edition Copa America tournament in the United States, which begins on Friday.
“My only wish is to be able to play in the final. In that first one I wasn’t there and in the second I started but got injured,” Di Maria told AFA.
“We always have the obligation to win the title for the quality of players we have. We will do our best.
“The monkey is on our back, more so because we lost the finals in the last two championships. But I think we did good in getting to two consecutive finals. We couldn’t win but football is like that.”
Argentina begin their tournament with a rematch of the 2015 final against Chile on June 6, before facing fellow Group D opponents Panama and Bolivia.
Di Maria and Co. will be buoyed by their performance against Chile in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier in March, where they defeated the Copa champions 2-1 in Santiago.
“In the qualifying match we did things right and showed that in the final we could have won, we just missed it,” he added.
“Hopefully we have another chance to make things right.”