Lionel Messi dishes on World Cup, regrets actions in Netherlands match

Lionel Messi spoke extensively about successful the 2022 World Cup in a wide-ranging interview with Buenos Aires radio outlet Urbana Play that aired Monday, admitting that he regretted his aim celebration in Argentina’s tense quarterfinals match in opposition to the Netherlands that was directed at Dutch head coach Louis Van Gaal.

Messi additionally mentioned he regretted arguing with Van Gaal on the sector after Argentina beat the Netherlands in a penalty shootout.

When Messi scored from the penalty spot in common time, he stood in entrance of van Gaal and cupped each palms to his ears. After the sport, he gesticulated to the Dutch bench and insulted striker Wout Weghorst, who scored twice in regulation, when Weghorst walked previous Messi throughout an interview. A report 17 yellow playing cards had been issued throughout the match, together with one to Messi for dissent.

“I don’t like what I did, I don’t like what happened afterward,” Messi mentioned. “These are moments of a lot of tension, a lot of nerves. It is very quick and people react the way they react. Nothing was planned, it just happened.”

That quarterfinal was surrounded by controversy. Earlier than the encounter, Van Gaal mentioned his gamers had been higher ready than their rivals for a penalty shootout. He additionally mentioned “Messi did not touch the ball” within the semifinal between the groups within the 2014 World Cup; Argentina additionally received that tie in a penalty shootout. Messi mentioned his teammates informed him what Van Gaal mentioned to stimulate him.

Messi’s aim celebration imitated former Argentina star Juan Román Riquelme, who famously clashed with Van Gaal when the latter was Riquelme’s supervisor at FC Barçelona within the early 2000s. Messi was a bit extra defensive when speaking about his post-match interplay with Weghorst. The 35-year-old was seen yelling a phrase in Spanish that roughly interprets to “What are you looking at, bozo?” as Weghorst walked by whereas Messi was giving an interview.

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“Everything that came out was natural, I reacted that way,” Messi mentioned. “A lot had happened with that player and a couple more moments of tension and friction. … The game had just finished, it was very fresh. I don’t like to leave that image, but these things happen.”

Messi additionally spoke at size about main Argentina to its first World Cup win since 1986. He confirmed in that the viral clip of him wanting up and mouthing phrases earlier than Gonzalo Montiel’s successful penalty within the epic World Cup Last shootout in opposition to France, Messi was not chatting with his late grandmother or Argentina legend Diego Maradona as many had claimed on social media.

Moderately, he mentioned he informed Montiel to “do it, finish it here, let’s not stretch this out anymore,” and mentioned his prayer was asking God to “end it.”

Lionel Messi brings glory to Argentina within the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi brings glory to Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Nonetheless, Messi did admit he had thought lots about Maradona, his former nationwide workforce coach, since successful the ultimate. Messi was typically negatively in comparison with Maradona regardless of the previous’s way more adorned European membership profession as a result of Maradona had led Argentina to a World Cup and Messi had not till that day in Qatar. The 2022 World Cup marked the primary since Maradona died immediately of a coronary heart assault in November 2020.

“I would have liked for him to be there and [present the World Cup trophy] to me,” Messi mentioned. “Or at least for him to have seen all this, with how much he loved the national team and wanted to see it happen. That photo would have been very nice too. I think he and many people who love me gave me strength from above in this World Cup.”

Messi mentioned he has not gone again and watched the ultimate in opposition to France. He scored twice within the epic 3-3 match as Argentina received 4-2 on penalty kicks to beat a hat trick from France star and Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain membership teammate Kylian Mbappé.

Argentina vs. France: MINI-MOVIE of 2022 FIFA World Cup ultimate

Argentina vs. France: MINI-MOVIE of 2022 FIFA World Cup final

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“Since that day, everything changed for me,” he mentioned. “By luck, what we dreamed about so much happened. I wished that so much in my career and, at the end, it came.”

Messi did, nonetheless, trace that Argentina’s victory might sign the upcoming finish of his illustrious soccer profession. The famous person mentioned instantly following the ultimate in Qatar that he wish to maintain taking part in for the Argentina nationwide workforce, and Argentina supervisor Lionel Scaloni made it clear that Messi would have a job on that workforce so long as he wished. However Messi spoke about his profession with a bit extra finality in his interview with Urbana Play.

“There were times when I suffered a lot with the national team, many disappointments, with lost endings,” Messi mentioned. “I had received a lot of criticism of all colors and I know that my family suffered the same as me or more. Unfair things were said towards me that went beyond football and that is what really bothered me. It was like closing the circle, we won the Copa América [in 2021], we won the World Cup, that’s it.

“I achieved every thing with the nationwide workforce as I all the time dreamed of, achieved every thing in my profession, at Barcelona, ​​individually. It was like closing my profession in a singular approach. Once I began I by no means imagined that it was going to be this fashion, that each one this was going to occur to me, and I feel that reaching that second was the very best.”

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Lionel Messi: best of the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Messi’s membership profession faces an unsure future, as nicely. Although he’s reportedly focused on re-signing with PSG, rumors have additionally linked him with a switch to a membership in Saudi Arabia — the place he may reunite in that league with longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo — in addition to a transfer to the USA with Inter Miami, the MLS membership owned by David Beckham.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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