Lionel Messi was visibly angry with Louis van Gaal on Friday and exchanged words with the Netherlands boss after the match. During the game, the PSG star pulled out the classic Riquelme celebration, Topo Gigio, following his penalty.
Speaking to the media after the match, Messi admitted that he was angry with Van Gaal for his comments ahead of the match.
Lionel Messi fue siempre comparado con los mejores. Pero a partir de ayer el tipo fué Riquelme, Maradona y Messi en el mismo partido.
3 grosos en uno solo.
Gracias Lio. Seguí haciéndolos chota.
He claimed that the Netherlands manager was disrespectful to the Argentina players:
“I was angry about the pre-match because I think that a coach like Van Gaal, with the experience he has, with the games he has played throughout his career and that he spoke in the way he did, that he disrespected. I think he should not have been like that, it did not make sense.”
However, the story behind Messi pulling out the Riquelme celebration in front of the Netherlands manager dates back to 2002. The Boca Juniors legend had joined the Catalan side but failed to make an impact as Van Gaal used him out of position.
Argentine fans have been unhappy with the Dutchman ever since, but luckily he left Camp Nou in January 2003 with Barca at 12th in the table.
Lionel Messi with Riquelme’s Topo Gigio in front of Louis van Gaal yesterday was the iconic moment of this #FIFAWorldCup
Josep Maria Minguella, the agent who helped Barcelona sign Lionel Messi, revealed that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was a huge fan of Riquelme and saw him as an idol.
Why did Lionel Messi’s idol flop at Barcelona?
Former Barcelona striker Hristo Stoichkov has been vocal about Louis van Gaal’s treatment of Riquelme in the media and claimed that the Argentine flopped at Camp Nou all because of the Dutchman. He said:
“Why didn’t Riquelme triumph at Barca? Because he had a d***head like Van Gaal as his coach. It’s clear, isn’t it? He did not succeed because of the way Van Gaal put him on the field.
“But even so, the first year in Barcelona he also enjoyed a lot. I enjoyed his goals, passes, plays, stepovers, but when one comes who wants to invent one thing from something else, it’s impossible. He [van Gaal] did good things that must be recognized but many have suffered in football due to his silly things.”
However, Lionel Messi’s idol Riquelme has refused to speak ill of the Dutch manager and claimed that they saw football in different ways:
“I will never say anything bad about him because I think that people who are true to what they think deserve to be respected. He is convinced his way of making a team play is correct and I am okay with that.”
Following the celebrations on Friday at the FIFA World Cup, it is clear that Lionel Messi is among the Argentina fans who are yet to forgive Van Gaal for his treatment of Riquelme at Barcelona.
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