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Lionel Messi showed Louis van Gaal no mercy during Argentina vs Netherlands in 'coldest moments of his career'

Lionel Messi showed Louis van Gaal no mercy during Argentina vs Netherlands in 'coldest moments of his career'

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner is desperate to win the World Cup in his final tournament.

Lionel Messi rarely lets big occasions overwhelm him, but in Argentina's World Cup quarter-final win over the Netherlands, Louis van Gaal managed to get under his skin.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner guided his side to a dramatic penalty shootout victory at the Lusail Stadium on Friday evening.

Argentina haven't won the World Cup since 1986, with the pressure mounting on Messi to win the competition in his final attempt as a player.

It boiled over in a fiery game against Van Gaal's side, with the first incident being Messi's celebration after putting Argentina 2-0 up. Check it out below.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar buried his penalty to make it three goals at the tournament so far.

He made his way over to the Argentina fans but not before making a gesture to the Netherlands bench. Messi then cupped his hands to his ears.

Van Gaal responded by bringing on Wout Weghorst, who scored twice in the closing stages to take the game to extra time.

Argentina ended up coming out on top in the shootout thanks to the heroics of Emiliano Martinez. After celebrating with his teammates, Messi approached Van Gaal while going down the tunnel, appearing to make a gesture.

Netherlands assistant coach Edgar Davids stepped in to try and calm things down.

Messi still wasn't done. Weghorst's introduction changed the Netherlands' game plan, relying on crosses into the box to maximise his height.

The 35-year-old wasn't impressed in his post-match interview, criticising Van Gaal's reliance on route one football.

"Van Gaal says that they play good football, but what he did was put on tall people and hit long balls," he vented.

"I don't want to talk about the referee because you can't be honest. If you talk they sanction you, FIFA must think about it, they can't put a referee like that for these instances, they can't put a referee who isn't up to the task."

Messi in front of Van Gaal and his staff after scoring the penalty. (Image

Messi vs Van Gaal is perhaps the strangest beef of this World Cup. How did all this start? Well, van Gaal turned the screw in the build-up to the game.

He told Dutch publication NOS: "Messi is indeed the most dangerous player who creates the most chances and also makes them himself.

"But on the other hand he does not play much with the opponent when he has possession of the ball. That is also where our chances lie."

Argentina will now face Croatia in the first semi-final on Tuesday evening.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Sport

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