The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

World Cup 2022: Lionel Messi leads Argentina to the semifinals


Hate, passion, fear, happiness, hope: Rarely have all these feelings been as visible as in the World Cup quarterfinals between Argentina and the Netherlands. In the end, Lionel Messi celebrated - and continues to dream of the title.

Enlarge image

Everything erupts: Argentina and the Netherlands put up a hard fight, which the South Americans won and cheered accordingly


The Foot of God:

The Dutch played 632 passes this Friday evening at the Lusail Stadium, the Argentines 602.

Short passes, long balls, received passes and grotesque bad passes.

Two passes stuck out.

One came from Lionel Messi.

What the seven-time world footballer performed in the 35th minute was nothing less than football art.

Messi got the ball far from goal, half-right.

In a space where there is no danger of scoring.

Unless Leo Messi is on the ball. Messi pulled in, he dribbled, wobbled, dribbled, looking to the left.

Meanwhile, Nahuel Molina launched into the penalty area, largely unnoticed.

Messi played a 30-metre pass like a string, over the standing leg and against his direction of travel and that of all the orange defenders who were taken by surprise.

And Molina suddenly had the ball at her feet,

Weghorst's foot:

This action was extraordinary even for someone like Lionel Messi.

But the Dutch also managed a pass that should make all standard coaches in the world green with envy.

In the eleventh minute of added time, the Dutch had a free kick.

Cody Gakpo was ready, everyone expected a direct attempt.

But Louis van Gaal reached into his bag of tricks again.

Teun Koopmeiners played low into the penalty area, where ex-Bundesliga striker Wout Weghorst picked up the ball, turned around and slotted in.

Weghorst of all people, who did not attract attention with great technical finesse during his time in Germany.

He's already scored one of those goals, around two years ago in the VfL Wolfsburg jersey against Arminia Bielefeld.


Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties to meet Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals.

Here is the match report.

Greetings to Pelé:

Messi's pass was not only beautiful, it also set a record for the magic foot.

One again, one might say.

Messi has now scored five goals in World Cup knockout games.

More than any other player since data collection began in 1966. The Argentine passed the legendary Pele, who is currently in hospital but wrote on Instagram: "I'm strong, I have a lot of hope".

Beyond Messi:

Both teams clearly struggled in the first half - which is not surprising given the course of the tournament.

Both Argentina and the Netherlands have so far shone with defensive stability and tactical discipline.

Pragmatism instead of hooray football, as the Brazilians did against South Korea in the round of 16.

And so far this tactic has worked for both teams.

The Netherlands relied on their fast counterattacks and the Argentines, well, Lionel Messi.

While Messi delivered, the Netherlands didn't take part in the game in the first half.

The shadow man:

Despite all the justified praise for the heavenly Messi pass, it is easy to forget that there was a player who speculated on this pass and also refined it.

The man's name is Nahuel Molina.

24 years old, right-back and transferred from Udinese Calcio to Atlético Madrid before the season for around 20 million euros.

He has yet to score a goal this season.

And not in his 24 international matches before this World Cup quarterfinals.

Argentinian fans went wild.

At the limit:

The longer the game lasted, the harder the teams worked.

Argentina's Leandro Paredes, for example, first fouled an opponent and then bolted the ball onto the Dutch dugout.

Excitement, yellow cards, a hard-fought quarter-final.

It was not the only pack formation in a competitive game.

But what the Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz made of it was grotesque.

He trudged across the pitch like a rooster, tirelessly blew his whistle, distributed a total of 17 yellow cards and was constantly the center of attention.

The fact that the game ended up being so tough was also due to Lahoz.

Dutch offensive efforts:

Louis van Gaal ordered his men a bit forward in the second half.

But for a long time there was nothing to be done against the Argentine bulwark.

At the latest after Messi converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, the game seemed to be decided.

That's how SPIEGEL editor Peter Ahrens saw it.

Then comes Wout:

But Ahrens and the Argentinian fans reckoned without the Dutchman.

Rarely has a World Cup game tipped over as quickly as this quarter-final.

Simple but clever.

Cross from Steven Berghuis in the sixteen.

Substitute Weghorst screwed himself up, headed in and gave the Dutchman new hope in the 83rd minute.

When he then completed one of the best-executed free-kick tricks in World Cup history in added time to level the game, the Dutch seemed very close to the semi-finals.

And Messi looked forward to his World Cup exit.

A leader:

The Dutch could not save their esprit in extra time.

Argentina was on the trigger, a goal was not scored.

So it went to penalties.

Leo Messi took over the Argentines' first attempt and casually pushed the ball in the middle.

The goal acted like a salute to Neymar.

The Brazilian star was eliminated in the afternoon despite his dream goal in extra time.

Neymar missed out on penalties and his less talented team-mates missed two attempts.

Neymar was to be the fifth Brazilian to shoot.

The hero who takes Brazil to the semifinals.

Instead, the top star heads home while Messi continues to chase the last title he's missing.

Top favourite:

Instead of the Superclásico against Brazil, there is now a duel with Croatia in the semi-finals.

You don't have to beat around the bush.

The Albiceleste is a big favorite.

The Croatians have two overtimes in their legs and are by far the most resilient team at this World Cup, but also one whose offensive options are limited.

Messi's teammate Neymar is out.

The stronger PSG player Kylian Mbappé is still there.

And with France a possible opponent in the final.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-12-09

Similar news:

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.