Lionel Messi has twisted the knife into the Netherlands’ World Cup exit after criticising Louis van Gaal’s aspect for his or her direct method in Argentina’s dramatic and heated quarter-final win on Friday night in Lusail.
Messi had fantastically arrange Nahuel Molina for Argentina’s first-half opener, threading a elegant go by means of the Dutch defence, earlier than coolly slotting in a penalty within the 73rd minute after Denzel Dumfries fouled Marcos Acuna.
The Netherlands had not often troubled Argentina throughout the match earlier than substitute Wout Weghorst’s header sparked them into life and he rolled the ball previous goalkeeper Emi Martinez deep into stoppage time to ship the sport into extra-time.
Messi, who scored within the subsequent shootout, was left unimpressed by how Van Gaal had resorted to route one soccer to tug the Dutch again into the sport.
“Van Gaal says that they play good soccer, however what he did was placed on tall individuals and hit lengthy balls,” mentioned Messi.
“I do not need to discuss concerning the referee as a result of you may’t be sincere. When you discuss they sanction you, FIFA should give it some thought, they can not put a referee like that for these cases, they can not put a referee who is not as much as the duty.”
Having cupped his ear to the Netherlands’ bench after scoring his penalty throughout the recreation, Messi gestured to Van Gaal that he ‘speaks an excessive amount of’ on the finish of a recreation laced with animosity.
Such a barbed response was ignited main as much as the competition by Van Gaal himself, who informed Dutch publication NOS: “Messi is certainly probably the most harmful participant who creates probably the most possibilities and likewise makes them himself.
“However alternatively he doesn’t play a lot with the opponent when he has possession of the ball. That can also be the place our possibilities lie.”
Messi: Maradona’s spirit pushing us on
Messi believes Diego Maradona’s spirit is driving Argentina’s push for World Cup glory.
The legendary Maradona, who handed away on the age of 60 in November 2020, captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.
“Diego is seeing us from heaven. He’s pushing us and I actually hope this stays the way in which till the top,” mentioned Messi.
Argentina will subsequent face Croatia, who beat Brazil on penalties earlier, on Tuesday for a spot within the last. Messi celebrated with arms aloft in entrance of the mass ranks of Argentina followers, his hopes of securing soccer’s largest prize on the fifth try intact for a minimum of a couple of extra days.
“Argentina are among the many 4 greatest on the earth as a result of they present that they know play each recreation with the identical want and the identical depth,” the 35-year-old added.
“Plenty of pleasure, lots of happiness. We did not must go to extra-time or penalties, we needed to endure. However we bought by means of and it is spectacular.”
Martinez: Referee was ineffective
Penalty-kick hero Emi Martinez described Antonio Mateu Lahoz as “ineffective” after the Spanish referee brandished a document variety of yellow playing cards throughout Argentina’s pulsating victory.
Goalkeeper Martinez saved penalties from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis earlier than Lautaro Martinez scored the profitable spot-kick to safe them a 4-3 shootout win after the quarter-final completed 2-2 after extra-time.
But it surely was a recreation that had every thing, together with 15 playing cards proven to gamers that entered the sphere of play, probably the most in World Cup historical past, overtaking Cameroon’s conflict with Germany in 2002, wherein there have been 12 yellows and two reds.
“I assumed we managed the sport rather well, we went 2-0 up and the ref was giving every thing for them,” the Aston Villa goalkeeper mentioned. “They get a great header, after which it turned the wrong way up, the ref gave 10 minutes for no cause.
“He simply wished them to attain, that was principally it, so hopefully we do not have that ref any extra, he’s ineffective.
“I heard Van Gaal saying we have got a bonus in penalties, and in the event that they go to penalties they win, I feel he must preserve his mouth shut.”
Van Gaal confirms he won’t proceed as Dutch boss
The defeat was the primary for Van Gaal in 20 matches since he was appointed as Netherlands boss in August 2021 and introduced an finish to the 71-year-old’s third spell as coach.
Earlier than the event it was confirmed Ronald Koeman will exchange Van Gaal as Netherlands boss after the World Cup.
In April this 12 months, Van Gaal revealed he had an aggressive type of prostate most cancers, having stored the prognosis from his gamers throughout their World Cup qualifying marketing campaign.
The previous Manchester United supervisor mentioned: “In the beginning I cannot be persevering with as a head coach for the Dutch workforce as a result of I solely did it for this time period.
“This was my final match. My third time period as a head coach. In that point I coached 20 matches however I did not lose a single one. I feel it’s Google you may look that up on. I’m trying again on a improbable time frame with an incredible group of gamers.
“I do not assume I have been crushed at present, solely in a penalty shootout.
“I had an exquisite time and sure it’s extremely painful to see how now we have been eradicated. Significantly as as a result of I did every thing to forestall this from occurring.”
Lautaro delivers when it actually issues
South American soccer skilled Tim Vickery:
“4 years in the past, South America’s participation on the World Cup in Russia ended on the quarter-final stage when Brazil misplaced to Belgium and Uruguay misplaced to France. Each of these had been over 90 minutes however this time, each Brazil and Argentina took us to 120 and penalties.
“It is now Argentina’s event so far as South America are involved. When Brazil bought to the ultimate in 2002 in opposition to Germany, an opinion ballot in Argentina revealed that extra Argentines had been supporting Brazil than Germany. There was a South American unity there, however I am unsure that may apply the opposite means round.
“They definitely have loads of assist of their very own making a improbable noise in these stadiums. Maybe it’s Lionel Messi’s future to win the World Cup, however let’s pay some tribute to Lautaro.
“He took that final penalty and it is among the best I’ve seen within the historical past of penalties. I do not assume it is hyperbole. Lautaro got here into this event as Argentina’s centre ahead. Within the first recreation in opposition to Saudi Arabia, he scores two very well-taken targets however they had been dominated out for very slender VAR selections as Argentina ultimately lose.
“The strain is heaped on and Lautaro finally ends up dropping his place within the aspect. Argentina then introduced him on within the video games in opposition to Poland and Australia, and Martinez seemed hideous. He seemed so wanting confidence and he made the objective look tiny.
“You want braveness to step up and take that fifth penalty. However when it actually mattered, he delivered for Argentina. He’d have been the villain of all villains if he missed that one.
“It emphasised the purpose that it isn’t solely Messi. What he did for Molina’s objective was magnificent. He is a type of gamers who should you give him a brick he’ll construct a home with it, however there are different gamers within the Argentina aspect.”
Evaluation: Argentina edge recreation for the ages
Sky Sports activities Information senior reporter Geraint Hughes on the Lusail Stadium:
“I am unable to consider I truly witnessed that recreation. It was a type of moments the place you say, ‘I used to be there’. That was simply ridiculous and simply an unbelievable recreation of soccer which encapsulated the theatre and every thing that the gorgeous recreation can provide us.
“At occasions, the soccer wasn’t nice and different occasions it was phenomenal. The power was simply sensational. The ambiance was unbelievable earlier than the sport had even kicked off. There was electrical energy working by means of the stadium. The official attendance was simply over 88,000 however there have been only one,000 Dutch inside the bottom.
“It was cat and mouse earlier than a second of magic from Messi together with his ball for Molina. You thought the sport was throughout after the penalty. How mistaken was I. It grew to become tetchy and it grew to become feisty.
“Van Dijk was thrown up entrance alongside Koopmeiners and Weghorst, who scored an incredible header to get the Dutch again into it. However who would’ve seen what got here subsequent? I used to be watching individuals going by means of absolute purgatory with their nerves after that unthinkable quick free-kick levelled issues.
“There have been individuals crying even when Argentina had been profitable 2-1. However they in some way discovered the power and the need within the shootout. There’s clearly no beloved misplaced between these two sides, both.
“When the referee did the coin toss to decide on which aspect we had the shootout there was even a tetchiness then. I’ve not often in my total profession been in an environment like that in all my time. It was bonkers, loopy and fantastic. The Argentina followers want to search out their voice within the semi-finals as they performed an enormous half on this victory.”