The Portuguese forward is sidelined for the Blancos, but that did not stop Carlo Ancelotti’s men from frustrating the Turkish side at the Santiago Bernabeu in the penultimate Champions League group stage round of matches.
Di Maria scored the third goal against Roberto Mancini’s men and the Argentine thinks it was necessary to establish their dominance in Group B, with Wedneday’s result securing their passage to the last 16.
“We must continue to grow as a team,” he told reporters. “We have a big lead [in the group] and that is very important for the coach.”
Madrid played a larger part in the encounter with 10 men after defender Sergio Ramos was sent off early on and Di Maria was very happy with the team’s reaction to the initial setback.
“I’m happy with the win,” he added. “The team sacrificed themselves in a way, we got through to the second round, which is what we wanted.”
Gareth Bales scored the first goal with a fine free kick before Umut Bulut equalised for Galatasaray with half-time lingering, but Alvaro Arbeloa, Di Maria and Isco put Mancini’s men to the sword.
Madrid tops Group B with 13 points – seven ahead of Juventus, and nine clear of both Galatasaray and Copenhagen.