Lionel Messi Regrets Controversy Against Holland in World Cup – NBC Los Angeles

World Cup winner Lionel Messi regretted his testy exchanges with the Netherlands coach and players during their controversial quarter-final in Qatar, he said in an interview broadcast on Monday.

Messi gave his first interview since lifting the trophy in December to Urbana Play radio in Buenos Aires. The Argentine captain spoke about the hard-fought clash with the Dutch that the South Americans won in a penalty shootout. A record 17 yellow cards were issued, including one to Messi for dissent.

When Messi scored from the penalty spot in regulation time, he stood in front of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal and put both hands over his ears. After the match, he gestured towards the Dutch bench and insulted striker Wout Weghorst, who scored twice in regulation time.

“I don’t like what I did, I don’t like what happened after,” Messi said. “These are moments of great tension, of many nerves. It’s very fast and people react how they react. Nothing was planned, it just happened.”

That quarterfinal was surrounded by controversy. Before the match, Van Gaal said that his players were better prepared than their rivals for the penalty shootout. He also said that “Messi did not touch the ball” in the semifinal between the 2014 World Cup teams; Argentina also won that tie in a penalty shootout.

Messi said that his teammates told him what Van Gaal said to encourage him.

About his moment with Weghorst, Messi said it was “natural”.

“I reacted that way. A lot had happened with this player, moments of tension like these. . . He was in the mixed zone, he had just passed, ”said Messi. “I don’t like leaving that image, but these things happen.”

Messi also said that Argentina “in general were better than their rivals” and chose Mexico, his second opponent in the group, as “the toughest”.

“It was the worst game we played for everything that involves winning it or not,” Messi said. Argentina lost their first game to Saudi Arabia 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, and had to beat Mexico. to stay in contention for the playoffs Mexico was defeated 2-0.

Messi said he has not seen the final against France. Argentina won the final on penalties to win their first World Cup title since 1986.

“From that day, everything changed for me,” he said. “Luckily, what we dreamed of so much happened. I wanted it so much in my career and, in the end, it came.”

Asked why he would tell Messi in his childhood if he could, the star said: “Something extraordinary awaits, you can’t imagine. You will have a beautiful path, with some hard moments that you will have to overcome, but never give up your dreams because in the end you will get your most desired reward. Your movie will have a happy ending.”