Lionel Messi on Actions After World Cup Win vs. Netherlands: I Didn't Like What I Did

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2023

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 09: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scorng a penalty during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Quarterfinal match between Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Stephen McCarthy - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi wants a mulligan on his celebration after scoring against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"I knew what [Netherlands coach Louis] Van Gaal had said but it [the goal celebration] happened on the spur of the moment," he said on Perros de la Calle (via ESPN's Adriana Garcia).

"I didn't like what I did. I didn't like what happened after. These are moments of nervousness and everything happens very quickly."

Messi tucked away a penalty in the 73rd minute to put Argentina ahead. He then ran toward Van Gaal and the Dutch bench before stopping and placing his hands to his ears.


Lionel Messi really celebrated right in front of Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands bench 🥶 <a href="https://t.co/5hu2D1tbG8">pic.twitter.com/5hu2D1tbG8</a>

Leading up to the match, Van Gaal posited how Messi was "the most dangerous creative player" but that he "doesn't participate much" when his team isn't in possession.

Tensions ran high between Argentina and Netherlands players throughout the match, which added to the drama. The 18 yellow cards issued by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz were a World Cup record.

Tempers boiled over toward the end of regular time. In the 88th minute, Leandro Paredes brought down Nathan Aké with a hard tackle and kicked the ball directly at the Dutch bench.

Telemundo Deportes @TelemundoSports

🔥 ¡EL PARTIDO ESTÁ BASTANTE CALIENTE! 🔥<br><br>👀 Otra discusión entre jugadores, ¡Falta poco para terminar el encuentro! 💥<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NED?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NED</a> 1-2 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ARG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ARG</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MundialTelemundo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MundialTelemundo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ElMundialLoEsTodo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ElMundialLoEsTodo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NEDvsARG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NEDvsARG</a> <a href="https://t.co/m8NkW8rOYW">pic.twitter.com/m8NkW8rOYW</a>

When Wout Weghorst delivered an equalizer in the 11th minute of stoppage time, it looked like Argentina were on the verge of unraveling altogether. Instead, La Albiceleste dug down and maintained their composure before prevailing on penalties.

Messi is typically a stoic figure on and off the pitch. Seeing him directly goad Van Gaal reflected how contentious and emotional the contest had become.

The 35-year-old might regret his celebration, but it certainly created a striking image.