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Lionel Messi admits he felt like an 'idiot' doing the one celebration he regrets most

Chris Byfield

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Lionel Messi admits he felt like an 'idiot' doing the one celebration he regrets most

Lionel Messi admitted he felt like an idiot for one of his goal celebrations.

If anyone has had enough practice celebrating goals it’s Messi. The pint-sized Argentine has scored 721 club goals across 889 appearances, as well as a record 106 goals for Argentina.

But Messi revealed there is one celebration he deeply regrets. After scoring a penalty against the Netherlands in last year’s Qatar World Cup, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner ostentatiously put his hands to his ears as a means of riling up Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal had made comments about Messi's performances in the build-up to the quarter-final, specifically his contribution off the ball.

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But Messi has since admitted that he immediately regretted cupping his ears to the Dutch boss due to a fear Argentina would go on to lose the tie.

"I came up with the 'Topo Gigio' [named in honour of a cartoon character, a goal celebration in which a player puts his hands to his ears as a sign of defying someone] right there and I automatically regretted it," the 36-year-old told ESPN.

"As soon as I did it I thought: 'What an idiot. They can still tie it.' These things usually happen."

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And that is exactly what happened, with Wout Weghorst netting two goals after Messi’s penalty to level proceedings.

But despite the shift in momentum, Argentina went on to beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties.

After the game, Messi said of the incident: "'I feel disrespected by Van Gaal after his pre-game comments and some Dutch players spoke too much during the game."

While Argentina went on to win the World Cup, with Messi being named player of the tournament, then Netherlands boss Van Gaal has not let go of how the game ended, groundlessly claiming the World Cup was rigged.

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The Dutchman told reporters at the time via the Mirror: "I do not really want to say much about it.

"When you see how Argentina scored their goals and how we scored our goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it was all a premeditated game."

Featured Image Credit: TV Publica/Getty

Topics: Football, Lionel Messi, Argentina, Netherlands, Louis Van Gaal

Chris Byfield
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