Former Manchester United winger Angel di Maria believes manager Louis van Gaal was to blame for his failure to live up to his potential at Old Trafford.Argentina international Di Maria joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for a then-British record fee of £59.7 million ($75m).But he struggled to perform on a consistent basis, contributing four goals and 12 assists in 32 appearances before departing for Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Di Maria, though, believes he could have offered so much more had Van Gaal, who was regularly criticised for his negative brand of football, allowed him to express himself further.”I only stayed for one year. It was not the best time of my career, or rather I was not allowed to spend my best time there,” he told France Bleu.”There were complications with the coach at the time.”But thank God, I was able to come to PSG and demonstrate again who I was.”Di Maria will return to Old Trafford with his PSG team-mates when the two sides meet in the last 16 of the Champions League.Despite being 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and well on track to win a sixth French title in seven years, the Parc des Princes outfit have struggled to lay down a marker when it comes to their European performances.But, having come through a tough group containing Liverpool and Napoli, there is hope that Thomas Tuchel’s side have what it takes to challenge in Europe’s premier club competition.Di Maria, however, is wary of Man Utd’s upturn in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian interim manager winning all six of his matches in charge since replacing Jose Mourinho on the touchline.”We still have matches before facing Manchester,” he added. “They have changed with their new coach and they have not lost a match.”I think we started the year not so well in the Champions League, but we put the situation right and we finished top of the group.”It was complicated. Ever since the draw it was said that it would be difficult to reach the round of 16 and we were almost eliminated, but we played a big home game against Liverpool and also against Red Star Belgrade – two big, decisive matches to qualify.”Now, we must think of ourselves and nothing but ourselves. If we do things well, everything will be fine.”
“We need to get more girls involved in information and communications technology,” Hamadoun Touré, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), told members of the European Parliament in Geneva in a speech about the need to address the growing imbalance in the technology sector.The event was one of more than 1,300 organized in 100 countries this year to raise awareness about women’s contributions to the technology industry and to promote tech careers to a new generation of girls with an interest in science and math.Among the events around the world, in the Dominican Republic, el Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones (INDOTEL) gathered nearly 400 girls aged 12 to 17 to motivate them to enter into technological careers. A national government policy has been established to create universities and training centres for women in those fields. In Cairo, Cisco offices invited girls to participate in a real-time connection with other girls in Jordan and Morocco to learn about the uses of communication technology and get them interested in working in these fields. At the American University of Armenia, approximately 100 schools were connected remotely in a live forum in which school-aged girls can ask questions of senior women role models. In Kampala, Uganda, girls visited with representatives from top managers in telecommunications companies and power companies who sought to encourage them to apply for such jobs, while high school girls in Nairobi, Kenya, heard from successful women about their paths to professional careers in technology. Meanwhile, in Suriname, officials worked to introduce computer technology to girls with visual and hearing impairments. Also this year, ITU’s Special Envoy for Women and Girls, actor and advocate Geena Davis, praised the Day as “important in engaging and inspiring girls to explore careers in technology.” Since 2010, the “Girls in ICT Day” is observed on the fourth Thursday of April every year to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women through the use of ICTs. It results from a resolution adopted at ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2010. Under the resolution, ITU pledged to incorporate a gender perspective in the implementation of all its programmes and plans, following which the Global Network of Women in ICT was established.The network is designed to encourage girls and young women to choose technology careers by providing mentoring resources, high-profile role models and toolkits that help national authorities and organizations promote technology careers to women. It is supported by ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), which, through its Gender Unit, is working on a range of strategies to use ICT to improve the livelihood of women worldwide.