LUSAIL, Qatar ( Associated Press) – Lionel Messi humiliates his opponents with his feet, but also with his mouth.
Argentina’s captain conceded two penalties, assisted and accused the referee, FIFA, the players and the coach of the Netherlands after Argentina’s 4-3 penalty shootout win in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
It was an emotional night for the 35-year-old star.
He assisted winger Nahuel Molina with a spectacular opening score and then converted a penalty in the second half for a temporary 2–0 lead, with which he joined striker Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s top scorer at the World Cup with 10 goals. equaled the record.
After celebrating with his teammates, Messi stood defiantly in front of the Dutch bench and put both hands to his ears, pointing to Topo Giggio, the link Juan Roman Riquelme had patented two decades ago against his critics.
This was not the only crossing with the Dutch.
After the penalty shootout, in which he scored a shot, Messi went back to the opponents’ bench and was face-to-face with coach Louis van Gaal and his assistant Edgar Davids. The Argentine Ten opened and closed their hands, rebuking them for talking too much.
Before the game, the veteran coach had boasted about preventing Messi from touching the ball when they met in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, which the South Americans also won in a penalty shootout. Van Gaal suggested one of the keys to defeating Argentina this Friday was to take advantage of the star’s perceived passivity when his team lost the ball.
“We suffered the wrong way. Van Gaal sells that he plays football and brought in tall guys and started hitting balls”, declared Argentina after the win.
Before starting an interview with an Argentine television channel, Messi insulted Wout Weghorst, author of the double that gave the Netherlands a tie. “What are you looking at, you fool? Go there.”
Díaz’s fury on the night also included a submission to Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoj for awarding a free kick, which led to Weghorst’s second goal when ten minutes of extra time had expired.
“It wasn’t up to par,” Messi complained.
Messi has in recent times started voicing himself as a captain in the style of the legendary Diego Maradona, after being criticized for his low profile. In 2019, he questioned CONMEBOL for arbitration in that year’s Copa America – for which he received a three-month suspension from national team matches – and this Friday he also pointed against FIFA for arbitration.
“I don’t want to talk about referees because later they punish you, you can’t be honest, but I think FIFA should think about all this. Can’t keep up”, he concluded.