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Virgil van Dijk absolutely bodied Leandro Paredes after he kicked the ball at Netherlands bench

Jack Kenmare

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Virgil van Dijk absolutely bodied Leandro Paredes after he kicked the ball at Netherlands bench

Virgil van Dijk took exception to Leandro Paredes booting the ball at the Netherlands dugout during an action-packed World Cup quarter-final on Friday night.

Argentina were 2-0 up and looked comfortable inside the Lusail Stadium after goals from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi, who delivered another masterclass on the grandest stage.

But in a twist that sums a World Cup full of dramatic moments, a late brace from super sub Wout Weghorst sent the game into extra-time.

If you didn't catch Weghorst's finish with virtually no time left of the 10 minutes of injury time remaining, then I suggest you check it out below. My word.

Ten minutes before that genius free-kick routine from Teun Koopmeiners and co, a desperate Netherlands side were looking for an equaliser when a huge brawl broke out.

So what happened? Well, Nathan Ake carried the ball towards the Argentina half and managed to get quite far... until Paredes, who is never one to shy away from a challenge, clashed with the Manchester City defender.

After what was a hefty challenge, Paredes then decided to smash the ball at the dugout – a decision that didn't go down well with a number of Netherlands players.

In fact, moments later, they stormed the pitch before Virgil van Dijk made his way over to Paredes before running straight into the Argentine. You can check out that moment below.

The Dutchman was booked for his actions, but Paredes had the last laugh when Van Dijk missed a spot-kick in what was a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

After the likes of Messi, Paredes, Montiel and Lautaro Martínez, who has struggled in spells this winter's, converted from 12 yards, Argentina went on to secure their place in the World Cup semi-final.

Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis, meanwhile, were denied by hero-of-the-hour Emiliano Martínez.

Lionel Scaloni's side will now face Croatia on Tuesday for a place in the World Cup final.

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Ahead of Friday night's clash, Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal said he'd spotted a chink in Lionel Messi’s armour.

Van Gaal hailed the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner as a “dangerous creative player" but said Argentina's captain “doesn’t participate much” when his side lose the ball and the opposition have possession of it.

Speaking to NOS, Van Gaal said: “Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and to score goals himself.

“But when they lose the ball and the opponent has possession he doesn’t participate much, and this gives us chances [to exploit].”

Despite his observation, the Netherlands struggled to deal with Messi's brilliance.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Argentina, Netherlands, Football World Cup, Lionel Messi, Virgil Van Dijk

Jack Kenmare
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