Lionel Messi’s Argentina will take on the Netherlands in the second quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup on December 9 at the Lusail Stadium.
The Argentina forward has hit three goals in Qatar so far and the South Americans will bank on his exploits yet again to overcome the Dutch test.
Before this quarterfinal, Messi has encountered the European side twice - both at World Cups.
The first time Messi played against the Netherlands was during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Drawn in Group C, both had sealed qualification by the third round of fixtures which made the encounter a dead rubber.
The game ended in a dull 0-0 draw. Messi started the game but was substituted in the 69th minute.
Messi’s next meeting with the Netherlands came eight years later in Brazil. This time, the stakes were higher. A place in the final awaited the winner.
Yet again, Messi could not find the net. He tested Jasper Cillessen with a free kick, though.
The game eventually moved to a penalty shootout after 0-0 scoreline following 120 minutes of play. Messi took the first spot kick for La Albiceleste and converted. Ron Vlaar missed Oranje’s first and the South American team won the shoot out 4-2.
Messi’s current goal tally with the national team stands at 94. In World Cups, Messi has netted nine goals in 23 appearances.
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