Gary Neville has launched a scathing attack on former Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria, after the Argentine and his wife slammed their time in Manchester.
Having arrived at Old Trafford in 2014 in a then-club-record £59.7m deal, Di Maria endured a torrid time in England. The Argentina international scored just four times in 32 appearances in all competitions and was promptly offloaded to Paris Saint-Germain the following summer.
After Di Maria and his wife hit out at their time in the north west – with his wife describing the people as ‘weird’ and the food ‘disgusting’ – Neville has moved to defend his hometown.
"I don’t know what she means Geoff," Neville told Sky Sports as reported by the Daily Mirror.
"I will defend my city to the hilt. I think she had a bad experience and she did have an unfortunate experience obviously where there was a robbery which really would hamper your view mentally.
"So I think that probably clouds her view in terms of the city, ‘cause I think there’s some decent folk around here."
Neville went on to describe his disappointment at the winger’s performance level during his time at the club.
The former England right-back said he believes the former Real Madrid man's wretched form while in Manchester might have something to do with his view of the city, and that he should look at some of his compatriots at Manchester City as an example of how to adapt to life in England.
"We hear these stories from time to time, where a player's played like a drain, like Di Maria did at Manchester United, he was awful,” he added.
"And I had great expectations and sort of excitement when he came to the club thinking we’d signed a top player. But he was never interested from day one.
"What I would say is, maybe what he needs to do is look across the road at Sergio Aguero, his Argentinian compatriot, or Pablo Zabaleta, who’ve done alright in Manchester over the years and don’t seem to be in a rush to leave."