Lionel Messi showed again on Friday that he is the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine coach said after his team reached the World Cup semifinals, adding that the captain of the “albiceleste” had been angered by the criticism of the Netherlands coach.
Argentina, one of the favorites for the title, advanced to the semifinals by beating the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties, after a hard-fought match in which they let a two-goal lead slip away in the final minutes and had to wait until the drama of the shootout to celebrate.
“Leo showed that he is the best of all time, when we defended with 11,” Scaloni said. “Messi was touched by (Louis) Van Gaal’s sayings.”
In the run-up to the match, the Dutch coach said that when Argentina has the ball he plays very well but that when he loses it he does it with 10 men, in a clear criticism of Messi.
After the match, Messi approached the Netherlands substitutes and was seen discussing with Van Gaal and his assistants.
The “albiceleste” won 2-0 but the European cast equalized it in the end.
“Argentina has the spirit of facing situations at all times (…) We didn’t deserve to get to the penalties but we always showed our face (…) In this World Cup we showed plenty of character, this team shows facets according to what the game asks, it always knows what it has to do”.
After the draw, the Netherlands almost did not attack in the 30 minutes of extension although it seemed to arrive with the boost that had given them the two goals at the end of the 90 minutes.
“It’s true that they played in a way we didn’t expect, each coach chooses how to play and how to attack. They set up a very short game (…) in the second half it was difficult for us. In the last 15 minutes they started throwing balls at the strikers,” he said.