Poor Ángel di María. First he gets yanked off at half-time against Sunderland after 45 minutes of Bebé-esque nonsense, and now this. According to Carles Rexach, Barcelona director of football, there's a reason that Real Madrid were willing to sell one of their best players, and it wasn't ever such a footballing one:
Florentino Pérez looks at the world market and wants a team of Galácticos for everyone to admire. Do you understand what I mean? Ronaldo is the flagship of the club. Pérez is selling an international brand. Vicente del Bosque and Di María are too ugly for Real Madrid. They are different from Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.
Ignore them, Ángel. We don't care about that shallow nonsense. We like to judge a player on his personality. And his goals. His personality and goals. Mostly the goals. Score some goals, please.
Obviously, this is a quote from a Barcelona employee and as such should be liberally sprinkled with salt. But Real do have previous with this sort of thing. The decision to purchase David Beckham over Ronaldinho was explained by one member of the Madrid hierarchy, back in 2004, along similar lines:
How ugly is Ronaldinho?! There was no point buying him, it wasn't worth it. He's so ugly that he'd sink you as a brand. Between Ronaldinho and Beckham, I'd go for Beckham a hundred times. Just look how handsome Beckham is, the class he has, the image. The whole of Asia has fallen in love with us because of Beckham. Ronaldinho is too ugly.
If you're reading, Florentino, a recent study for which we just happen to have misplaced the link concluded that the umlaut is the ugliest of all punctuation marks. So if you'd like to send Raphäel Varane our way ...