Lionel Messi criticized both Louis van Gaal, the manager of the Netherlands, and Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the on-field referee after Argentina’s win.
At the Lusail Stadium, an intense match full of drama and action saw Messi contribute to both of Argentina’s goals during the regulation time before the Netherlands rallied to force extra time.
Nahuel Molina scored Argentina’s first goal after Messi superbly set him up; the 35-year-old converted from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute; however, substitute Wout Weghorst scored a quick-fire brace in the dying stages to restore parity.
In the subsequent penalty shootout, Messi made the first of Argentina’s four attempts, while Emiliano Martinez made two saves to help the two-time world champions defeat the Netherlands 4-3.
In his pre-game remarks, Van Gaal emphasized Messi’s lack of work rate when he is not in possession of the ball and said he had a strategy to stop the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
As Argentina defeated the Netherlands, Messi won the contest’s man of the match award, and the Paris Saint-Germain star has since criticized Van Gaal’s ‘long-ball’ strategies.
Messi told reporters after the game, “Van Gaal says that they play good football, but what he did was put on tall people and hit long balls.”
After making the save from the penalty, Messi was seen raising his hands in joy toward the Dutch bench. Later, on the touchline, he appeared to warn Van Gaal, 71, that he “talks too much.”
As a result of his performance at Lusail Stadium, Argentina’s No. 10 has demanded that FIFA fire on-field referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Amid the wild quarterfinal match, the Spanish referee unusually issued 16 yellow cards. One of his final decisions was to dismiss Denzel Dumfries during a crowd brawl during the shootout.
Lionel Messi really celebrated right in front of Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands bench 🥶 pic.twitter.com/5hu2D1tbG8— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 9, 2022
After the game, Argentina’s shot-stopper Martinez called Lahoz “useless,” and Messi thinks the official shouldn’t work in the Qatar World Cup this year.
“I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you. But people saw what happened,” Messi told reporters as quoted by the Independent.
“I think FIFA must take care of this, it cannot put a referee like that for a match of such magnitude, of such importance. The referee cannot fail to be up to the task.”
Following his outstanding performance against the Netherlands, La Albiceleste head coach Lionel Scaloni referred to his captain as the “greatest player of all time.” Messi has been a remarkable performer for Argentina in Qatar, scoring four goals and recording two assists in five games.
Argentina now has four days to prepare for their semifinal matchup against Croatia, who defeated tournament favorites and five-time World Cup winners Brazil 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of play.
Lionel Messi Frustrated Despite Win
Lionel Messi yelled at a person off-screen during his postgame interview after Argentina’s victory over the Netherlands on Friday, punching its ticket into the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
After a few seconds of coldly staring in the same direction, Messi, 35, yelled something obscene at Wout Weghorst.
Messi asked, “What are you looking at, dummy.” Go on that way, dummy. Go away.”
Despite having nothing else to do during the interview, the interviewer attempted to cool down a heated Messi.
After the penalty shootout, Messi had a furious exchange with the Dutch bench that was clearly spilling over into the sidelines.
Messi had a conversation with Dutch manager Louis van Gaal and his assistant Edgar Davids following the penalty shootout.
Messi made an obvious David’s gesture with his hand, implying that since they have been eliminated, they haven’t been conversing as much.