Only four members of the Germany team which started the biggest match in world football on July 13 were selected, and the transformation from the Rio de Janeiro showpiece was dramatic.
Di Maria set up the first three goals for Sergio Aguero, Erik Lamela and Federico Fernandez before adding the fourth in a game filled with chances at both ends.
Di Maria got to work in the 20th minute, curling a cross in behind the Germany defence with the outside of his left boot, serving the ball on a plate for Aguero to lift into the roof of the net from point-blank range.
Ten minutes later, Di Maria terrorised the Germany defence once more, but shot straight at Manuel Neuer.
Five minutes before the break, Di Maria got to the by-line and lifted the ball back for Tottenham’s Lamela to place perfectly into the top left-hand corner with a side-footed volley.
It became 3-0 for Argentina almost immediately in the second half when Swansea’s Fernandez arrived to head Di Maria’s cross past substitute goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller with the aid of the far post.
Three minutes later, Manchester United’s British record signing crowned his excellent personal performance with a goal, racing in from the right before dinking the ball delicately past the onrushing Weidenfeller.
Germany grabbed a consolation just moments later when Andre Schurrle was left in space in the centre to volley at Sergio Romero. The ball came back to the Chelsea forward off the Argentina goalkeeper and he converted at the second attempt.
Marco Reus hit the post as Germany attempted a comeback, with Mario Gotze’s wayward effort deflected into his own goal by Fernandez to bring the hosts back to within two goals.
There was not to be a dramatic comeback, though, as Argentina gained the merest modicum of revenge for defeat in Brazil, taking their chances in a way which will give them even more regret for the ones they wasted at the Maracana, when it really mattered.
GERMANY: Neuer (Weidenfeller 45), Durm, Grosskreutz, Ginter, Howedes (Rudiger 77), Reus, Kroos (Rudy 71), Kramer, Schurrle (Muller 57), Draxler (Podolski 33), Gomez (Gotze 58)>
ARGENTINA: Romero (Andujar 80), Zabaleta (Campagnaro 77), Rojo, Demichelis, Fernandez, Biglia, Mascherano, Perez (Fernandez 45), Aguero (Gaitán 83), Lamela (Gago 68), Di Maria (Alvarez 86).
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers.