There was a lot of tension during the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands after a dramatic penalty shoot-out that saw La Albiceleste advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The tension spilled over at the end of the match between the players of both teams and later moved into the mixed zone.
An Argentine television station was interviewing Lionel Messi after the match when the forward fixed his gaze on an out-of-picture person and is reported to have said: “What are you looking at, fool? Yeah, go back in”.
According to SVT’s Johan Kücükaslan, the words were aimed at Netherlands player Wout Weghorst.
“I was only a few metres away and I saw it all. Messi came out through the players’ tunnel and then Weghorst stood there waiting for a doping test. Then the argument started. It never turned into a fight, but there was tension in the air. Van Dijk had to step in and calm them down,” the journalist told Expressen in words reported by Mundo Deportivo.
He added: “It was very unexpected to see Messi like that, he doesn’t usually argue, especially not against a two-metre tall opponent (Whegorst). There was a big difference between them in height”.
GSFN | Kieran Quaile