According to multiple reports, Argentina winger Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a tear in his right thigh. The 26-year-old who scored the only goal in Argentina's 1-0 win over Switzerland in the round of 16 was forced to exit his side's 1-0 quarterfinal win over Belgium in the just the 33rd minute after feeling pain in his leg.
Though not quite at the level of Brazil losing Neymar for its semifinal against Germany, the loss of Di Maria is still a significant blow for Argentina, who has reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1990.
Before the extent of the injury was known, Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella said (via the AP), "I hope that it won't be too [bad] in the case of Angel because Angel is vital to us."
"He's a key player in this project," added striker Gonzalo Higuain, who scored against Belgium. "I'm really sorry. But we hope that he will be ready as soon as possible because we know what he does for the team."
With Di Maria in the lineup, Argentina weren't solely reliant on Lionel Messi, but without him – and Sergio Aguero also struggling with a hamstring problem – there will be even more pressure on Messi to carry the team as World Cup glory is now just two wins away.
More coverage of the World Cup on Yahoo! Sports:
- Sports & Recreation
- World Cup 2014
- Di Maria