Lionel Messi previews Argentina's World Cup clash with the Netherlands

1 month ago

Lionel Messi has said he expects a 'really tough clash' with the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-finals.

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Both the Netherlands and Messi's Argentina booked their respective places in the last eight of the competition on Saturday thanks to wins over USMNT and Australia.

The quarter-final will be a repeat of the classic 1998 quarter final which the Dutch won courtesy of that Dennis Bergkamp 90th-minute winner. The two nations also faced off in the 2014 semi final - a game Argentina won via a penalty shootout.

Speaking to the press following his star turn in La Albiceleste's 2-1 win over Australia - a game in which Messi scored his first ever World Cup knockout round goal - Messi said he is expecting a difficult game against the Dutch, stating: "Now we have a really tough clash with Holland, who play very well.

"They have great players and a great coach, it's going to be hard-fought. It's the quarter-finals of a World Cup and if a World Cup has been tough from the start, it gets even tougher at this stage."

Messi also took time to thank Argentina's fans for their support at the World Cup, with over 30,000 reported to have travelled to Qatar this winter: "These are amazing feelings. I'm really happy to share this beautiful moment, these happy moments with them all.

"The effort they are making to be here with us in every single match. I know how much they enjoy it back in Argentina. The whole of Argentina would like to be here, but it's not possible. I think there's this bond that we have, this union, which is something beautiful.

"It's unbelievable what they transmit, the passion, their energy, their joy and we're very thankful. It's unbelievable."

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