Argentina will take on the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on December 10. With Lionel Messi in terrific form, there is already hope that Argentina will overcome the Dutch challenge and seal its place in the semifinals.
But days before the high-octane clash, the Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said he found a flaw in Messi’s armoury. He said the Argentine superstar does not engage in play much when the opponent takes control of the ball.
“Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and to score goals himself,” said the 71-year-old coach, adding, “But when they lose the ball, and the opponent has possession, he does not participate much, and this gives us chances [to exploit].”
Van Gaal is also keeping an eye on another South American giant, Brazil, which could be his team’s next opponent, if the Netherlands beats Argentina.
“Brazil play the same football as us: counter football, starting from a compact defence,” the former Manchester United coach said.
Addressing a question about criticism directed at his team for not playing not-so-impressive football in the Qatar World Cup, Van Gaal said, “Even if my friends in the [Dutch] media say it is sparkling football while we do the same!.”