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By ESPN Staff

Di Maria signs new deal with Real

Real Madrid midfielder Angel di Maria has signed a new contract, tying him to the Spanish champions until 2018.

Di Maria, 24, had signed a six-year deal when he joined Real from Benfica in 2010 but has been rewarded with an enhanced contract after a return of seven goals and 16 assists from midfield last season.

He told the club's official website: "I am completing a dream I had as a child. I am very happy here and the extension of the contract gives me the chance to continue at Real Madrid for many years and to keep improving.

"When I arrived they said it wouldn't be easy to win over the Bernabeu, but thanks to God and with the work and sacrifice I have put in every day and in every match I have won this affection. I feel very supported and loved by the club and the fans.''

The 24-year-old believes his progression as a player also has a lot to do with the influence of Jose Mourinho and is hoping the Portuguese coach's impact will continue to make him stronger.

"I have changed a lot in all ways since I arrived here," he said. "From a football perspective I have improved a lot thanks to Mourinho.

"He asked the club to bring me here when I was at the World Cup and things weren't going well so a huge part of what I am doing in this moment is thanks to him.

"Hopefully I can continue learning every day. I am still young and I think I can learn a lot here and gain experience.''

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