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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Colin Millar

Lionel Messi admits regret despite winning World Cup - "I don't like what I did"

Lionel Messi has admitted he is not proud of losing his cool during the World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Argentina's win over the Dutch was a memorable but bad-tempered encounter, which saw 15 yellow cards brandished by Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The match went to penalties after it finished 2-2 in normal time when Wout Weghorst dramatically equalised late in stoppage time.

Messi was spotted arguing with Dutch manager Louis van Gaal and his assistant Edgar Davids at full-time, he is then believed to have turned to double goalscorer Weghorst during an interview and shouted: "What are you looking at fool? Get back there."

As was the case throughout the tournament, Messi was instrumental in Argentina's triumph as he provided the assist for Nahuel Molina's opener in the first half before converting a penalty after the interval.

The 35-year-old celebrated his goal by running in front of Netherlands boss Van Gaal and cupping his hands to his ears. Juan Roman Riquelme explained last week that Messi's anger-fuelled celebration was because of the Dutch coach's comments about him ahead of the game.

"I didn't think about it, it came out in the moment," Messi explained on the radio show Perros de la Calle. "I did know everything that had been said before the game, what he [Van Gaal] had said. Even some of my teammates were telling me 'Did you see what he said,' on purpose.

Messi and Van Gaal appeared to share strong words at full-time of the quarter final clash (PA)

Have Your Say! Did Lionel Messi's World Cup win make him the greatest player of all time? Tell us what you think here.

"And well, when it's all over, I don't like what I did, I don't like the 'keep moving' and all that. But well, they are moments of huge tension, huge nervousness and everything happens very fast.

"One reacts the way one reacts, but nothing was planned. It just happened. I don't like to leave that image, but these are things that happen."

Messi and Argentina went on to win the tournament for the first time since 1986, with the PSG star proclaiming that there was a tinge of regret that Diego Maradona – who inspired the previous Argentine triumph – was not around to be involved in the celebrations.

"I would have liked him, if he didn't hand me the World Cup trophy, to at least see all this," Messi added. "I think that both he and many people who love me were pushing from above, not only for this but for everything in general."

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