Football NewsMessi-Van Gaal: causes of a war
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Controversy goes mad

“I don’t like people talking before games. That’s not part of soccer. I always respect everyone, but I like that they respect me too. Van Gaal was not respectful to us,” Messi said after the game against the Netherlands. Rarely had he seen him like this. Earlier, on the pitch, he celebrated the goal in front of the Netherlands bench by doing the ‘mole gigio’, a gesture that became popular with Riquelme and that comes to say something like “keep talking”. He put his hands over his ears and looked at Van Gaal. The origin of this rivalry between Messi and the ‘oranje’ coach is not from now, but it heated up in the days before the quarterfinal clash in Qatar. The first tensions between the two arose after the semifinal of the 2014 World Cup. “Messi did not touch the ball that day,” recalled the Dutch coach years later. Although he didn’t score, Messi played a good game and had some clear chances. Leo considered it an unnecessary attack, especially considering that Argentina eliminated the Netherlands that day and played in the final. Messi was also affected by the treatment that Van Gaal gave to Di María, a close friend of his, during the Noodle stage in Manchester. “He is the worst coach I have ever had in my career. He scored two goals and the next day he pointed out to me everything he had done wrong , ”he later recalled in an interview. The captain of Argentina saw the suffering of his friend at an important stage and with the succession of lost finals as a mental slab for all of them in the selection.


Qatar lit the fuse

Everything became tense again in Qatar. In the previous conference, Van Gaal said that Argentina had a weakness and pointed out Messi again: “When Argentina loses the ball, Messi doesn’t participate much, that gives us opportunities.” His words immediately reached the Argentine concentration and its great star, who did not understand how, in an official press conference, football disqualifications of this magnitude could be incurred. Messi took it as a lack of respect, as he later pointed out. Another issue that did not like was that of penalties. “If we make it to the shootout, we win for sure,” Van Gaal said. This also turned Dibu Martínez on, who said that he had served as motivation. Of course also to Messi, who not only scored his during the game but also did the same with the first and decisive one of the shootout. Once again, the Argentines considered that Van Gaal had taken some licenses that went beyond the virtues of his team and tried to highlight the rival’s defects. For all these reasons, at the end of the match Messi approached the Netherlands bench while saying something to Van Gaal. He couldn’t read what it was about, though he later explained it. The coach was surprised and even Edgard Davids, his assistant, had to intervene so that things didn’t get any worse. A war between coach and player that was publicly reflected in front of the whole world. Few have taken Messi out of his boxes like Van Gaal.