Lionel Messi was fired up after leading Argentina through a dramatic World Cup quarter-final against the Netherlands.
And the captain gave Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal a piece of his mind, blasted the referee and raged at an opposing player in the aftermath of Argentina’s win on penalties following a remarkable 2-2 draw in normal-time.
GettyMessi wasn’t pleased with the Dutch coaching team
GettyMessi’s celebration was aimed at Van Gaal
Argentina looked to be coasting to victory as they led 2-0 with seven minutes to play, only for Wout Weghorst to hit a brace – the second in the tenth minute of stoppage time – to take the match all the way.
There were 18 yellow cards in total – a World Cup record – with Denzel Dumfries dismissed after the shootout by referee Antonio Lahoz, who appeared to lose all control.
Messi – who overtook Pele for the most assists in the World Cup knockout stages – was pumped up throughout.
Having made it 2-0 through a penalty with 17 minutes left to play, he celebrated his goal by cupping his ears in the direction of Netherlands boss Van Gaal on the bench.
And after again netting in the penalty shootout, Messi then approached the Dutch coaching staff after the game and appeared to tell Van Gaal and his staff: “You talk too much.”
“I feel disrespected by Van Gaal after his pre-game comments and some Dutch players spoke too much during the game,” Messi told reporters after the match.
It was a thought echoed by teammate and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who said: “I heard Van Gaal saying that in a penalty shoot-out they had the advantage, or if we went to penalties then they would win – I think he needs to keep his mouth shut.”
Messi’s rage didn’t end there, though, as he also took aim at an unknown member of the Dutch team as he conducted a post-match interview.
Messi is alleged to have looked at someone off camera and said in an angry tone: “What are you looking at idiot?, Go on, get out of there”
There were a series of flashpoints in the game with things kicking off in the closing stages after Leandro Paredes smashed the ball into the Dutch dugout with Virgil van Dijk barging him to the ground.
Tempers also flared after the match was finished, with Dutch ace Dumfries shown a second yellow card as Argentina players celebrated in front of their opponents.
Messi was among those to complain about the standard of officiating in the game.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee because they sanction you for being honest,” he said.
“I think people saw what it was. FIFA cannot use this kind of referee for this type of match.”
GettyThe Dutch bench did not react well to Paredes’ actions
GettyArgentina players celebrated wildly at the end of the fiery contest
Teammate Martinez, who saved two of the Netherlands’ spot-kicks, also branded the referee ‘useless’.
“It was a tricky game,” Martinez told beIN Sports.
“I thought we controlled the game really well. We went 2-0 up, basically we controlled the game. The ref was just giving everything for them.
“He gave 10 minutes (stoppage time) for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times.
“He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have that ref anymore. He’s useless.”
They were scenes that were then mirrored in England’s quarter-final defeat to France where Wilton Sampaio was criticised for his performance.
On Friday, however, Messi had provided the assist for Nahuel Molina’s opening goal before doubling his country’s advantage in the the second half, converting from the spot.
But Argentina’s hard work quickly came undone after the Netherlands unleashed Burnley man Weghorst from the pitch who scored two goals to send the tie to extra time at the death.
gettyMessi clearly wasn’t happy throughout the game
GettyAnd he also made sure to celebrate in front of the Netherlands players
La Seleccion were victorious in the eventual shootout, as Messi scored again from the spot and Aston Villa stopper Martinez saved from Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis as the Dutch fell 4-3 on penalties to Argentina in a repeat of the 2014 semi-final.
Argentina will face Croatia in the semi-finals after they stunned Brazil earlier on Friday.
And if they get through that, they will face either France or Morocco in the final.
talkSPORT World Cup 2022 Coverage
talkSPORT is bringing you wall-to-wall coverage of the 2022 World Cup.
We are broadcasting all 64 games in the tournament live, with over 600 hours of coverage across our network.
You can tune in to talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 via our free online streaming service at talkSPORT.com.
talkSPORT is widely available across the UK via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
You can also download the talkSPORT app, or ask your smart speaker to play talkSPORT.
Originally Posted By Talk Sport