“If you talk about the referee, they [FIFA] sanction you, but they need to think because they cannot put a referee who isn’t up to the task for such matches,” added Messi
Louis van Gaal
Moments after Argentina beat The Netherlands 4-3 via tie-breaker in the quarter-final at the Lusail Stadium here, pictures of a furious Lionel Messi confronting Dutch coach Louis van Gaal went viral with messages claiming the Argentine captain was too arrogant and disrespectful.
‘They spoke too much’
Messi however, later revealed that he felt it was the other way round. “I feel disrespected by Van Gaal after his pre-game comments. Also, some Dutch players spoke too much during the match,” Messi told reporters moments after their 4-3 win via the penalty shootout.
Also Read: Messi, Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties at World Cup
On the eve of the match, the tactically brilliant Van Gaal had said that Messi did nothing to help his team whenever they lose the ball and that’s where he felt the Dutch team had a big chance against the Argentines. A furious Messi even questioned Van Gaal’s tactics. “Van Gaal says that he plays good football and then he puts [tall] forwards in the box and starts throwing long balls [for headers]. We deserved to go through and that’s exactly what happened,” added Messi, who was even unhappy with Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, under whose supervision The Netherlands netted the equaliser in the 11th minute of an allocated 10-minute stoppage time.
“If you talk about the referee, they [FIFA] sanction you, but they need to think because they cannot put a referee who isn’t up to the task for such matches,” added Messi.
Also Read: 'We are one step closer to our objective': Lionel Messi
18 yellow cards
Referee Lahoz awarded as many as 18 yellow cards on the night—eight each for the Dutch and Argentine players and one each for Argentine manager Lionel Scaloni
and assistant coach Walter Samuel.