Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria's looks cost him his place in the Real Madrid squad, says former Barcelona manager Carles RexachReuters

Former Barcelona manager Carles Rexach claims that Argentina winger Angel Di Maria was sold to Manchester United because he was "too ugly" for Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old was sold to United for a British transfer record of £59.7 million last summer, despite helping Real Madrid win the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey last season.

And Rexach has made a peculiar claim that the former Benfica winger was sold due to him not being handsome enough for the Los Blancos.

The 68-year-old, who was also a player at Barcelona, says that players with good looks is mandatory in Real Madrid due to president Florentino Perez trying to assemble an "international brand"

"Florentino Perez looks at the world market and wants a team of Galacticos for everyone to admire. Do you understand what I mean?" Rexach told Spanish media outlet Regio7.

"Ronaldo is the flagship of the club. Perez is selling an international brand. Vicente del Bosque and Di Maria are too ugly for Real Madrid. They are different from Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez."

Rexach, who is known to make bizarre claims from time to time, had earlier stated that Barcelona star Lionel Messi wasn't at his best last season due to him eating "more pizza than he should have."

Meanwhile, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is confident that Angel Di Maria will quickly regain his form and help the club return to the Champions League next season.

The Argentine started his United career on a bright note, doing exceptionally well in the first few fixtures. But Di Maria has been in poor form of late, with United manager Louis van Gaal recently stating the winger needs "more time to adapt to the Premier League."

However, Rooney insists that Di Maria is a "great player" and he will quickly get "back to his best."

"It [Saturday] was just one of those days that every footballer has. He is a great player, he has shown that and you don't lose your talent overnight. Hopefully he will get back to his best and start giving some great performances for us."

"He has got a lot of experience and I think he will figure it out, we all have to do that sometimes. There is nothing worse than when everyone keeps going on at you. You have to come to it in your own way and I am sure he will be a big player for us between now and the end of the season."