It's been more than a month, but Argentina's success at Qatar 2022 continues to be a talking point in world soccer. After many years of wait, Lionel Messi finally got his hands on the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Having fallen short in his four previous participations, the Paris Saint-Germain star's quest for the elusive title was destined to be over in Qatar. La Albiceleste had arrived in the World Cup in high spirits, though they had to overcome many obstacles on the way.
While many remember their loss to Saudi Arabia in their debut, Argentina's hopes were suddenly on the line in the quarterfinals. To say the game against the Netherlands was a heated affair would be an understatement.
Lionel Messi addresses reaction against Louis van Gaal, jab at Wout Weghorst
There was a lot of talk before the quarterfinal game, with Louis van Gaal taking a subtle shot at Messi for his lack of effort in defense. The 7x Ballon d'Or winner took it personal, later celebrating his goal in the Dutch coach's face.
“It came out from me naturally," Messi told Argentine journalist Andy Kusnetzoff in Urbana Play. "Some of my teammates have told me what Van Gaal said before the game. Then we were 2-0, it all happened so fast and I didn't even think about it. When I looked back at all of that later - the celebration, the 'Anda pa'llá bobo" - I didn't like it, it wasn't planned. I don't like to leave that image, but it came out like that, there was a lot of nervousness and tension."
Many things have been said about Argentina after that game, since they rubbed the win on the Dutch players' faces. In the end, the stakes were too high and both teams felt it. Only that La Albiceleste had the last laugh.