Messi, Louis van Gaal clash after shootout

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By Kuranga Habeeb

PSG and Argentina’s talisman, Lionel Messi granted an interview after his side’s win over the Netherlands. He accused the Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal for playing long balls after he (Van Gaal) earlier stated his side has an advantage over Argentina because of Messi’s lack of interest when his side are not in possession of the ball.

Van Gaal told the Dutch publication NOS: “Messi is indeed the most dangerous player who creates the most chances and also makes them himself.

“But on the other hand he does not play much with the opponent when he has possession of the ball. That is also where our chances lie.”

Messi on the other hand was quoted saying: “Van Gaal says that they play good football, but what he did was put on tall people and hit long balls.”

He also blasted Spanish referee, Matteu Lahoz – the man in the middle yesterday, saying the Spaniard isn’t up to the task in a huge game as this.

“I don’t want to talk about the referee because you can’t be honest. If you talk they sanction you, FIFA must think about it, they can’t put a referee like that for these instances, they can’t put a referee who isn’t up to the task.”

Away from the controversy, Lionel Messi talked about his team and how he felt about the win over one of their bitter rivals on the global stage.

He added: “A lot of joy, a lot of happiness. We didn’t have to go to extra time or penalties, we had to suffer. But we got through and it is something impressive. We are enjoying a lot with the people, going step by step. We are very happy.”

Argentina are through to the semifinals of the FIFA world cup in Qatar. They will be hoping to win the Mundial for the third time in their history after their two previous wins in 1978 and 1986.

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