Angel Di Maria of Juventus left the field in tears after suffering a muscular injury in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The Argentine playmaker, who joined the Italian giants on a free transfer this summer, is now a serious question for next month’s World Cup in Qatar.
Juventus’ prospects of reaching the Champions League knockout rounds were further harmed on Tuesday, as the Italian club were defeated 2-0 by Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.
Will Angel Di Maria miss the World Cup next month?
In the 24th minute, Di Maria gripped his leg after sprinting towards a pass, plainly in pain in his right thigh. With the repercussions in mind, the 34-year-old nodded his head towards the dugout and staggered off the field, wiping his eyes with his shirt.
It is particularly concerning for the Argentina squad, especially with the 2022 World Cup just over a month away in Qatar.
They already have Paulo Dybala out of the competition after damaging a thigh muscle when taking a penalty for Roma on Sunday. Di Maria had only recently returned to Serie A after serving a two-match suspension for elbowing Monza defender Armando Izzo.
Omer Atzili scored a second before halftime to his seventh-minute goal, capping off a commanding half for Maccabi Haifa. Despite Juventus’ best efforts to react after the interval, the hosts held on to hand the Italian club their third defeat in the competition.
The dismal loss added to the strain on manager Allegri, who has had a difficult start to the season with Juventus. The Serie A team is now ninth in the top tier with three victories in nine games and has an uphill battle to reach the Champions League knockout stages.
With two games remaining, Juventus sits fifth in Group H, five points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica.
Given that both teams are now on 7 points, compared to Juve and Maccabi Haifa’s 3, Massimiliano Allegri’s team’s chances of remaining in the Champions League are small.
This implies that Paul Pogba, who returned to Juventus this summer when his contract at Manchester United expired, may join his old team in the league, along with Arsenal and other Premier League clubs.