Lionel Messi said Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal offended him hours before Argentina’s 4-3 penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-finals at the iconic Lusail Stadium in Qatar. , Friday.
Messi set up Argentina’s first goal for Nahuel Molina, then scored the second from the penalty spot to give Argentina a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute.
But two late goals from Dutch substitute Wood Wekhorst, the second from a free kick in the 11th minute of stoppage time, sent the game into extra time and eventually a penalty shootout.
However, the competition heated up. At one point, Leandro Paredes threw the ball in the direction of the Netherlands bench, and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk responded by bringing Paredes onto the field.
After his goal, Messi led a celebration towards the Dutch coaching staff and then confronted Van Gaal after the game.
“I felt offended by Van Gaal for his comments before the game and some players spoke too much during the game,” Messi told reporters.
Van Gaal suggested before the end of the quarter that Messi did little to help his team when they didn’t have the ball.
“Van Gaal sells that he plays good football, then he gets forward in that area and starts shooting long balls,” Messi said of Van Gaal’s tactics. “We deserved to go and that’s what happened.”
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who was Argentina’s hero in the penalty shootout by saving the Netherlands’ first two efforts from Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, also had strong words for Van Gaal.
“I heard Van Gaal say, ‘We have an advantage on penalties and if we go to penalties we will win,'” Martinez said. “I think you should shut up.”