Argentina’s World Cup winning skipper Lionel Messi expressed remorse over his actions during the World Cup quarterfinals, including wild celebrations and gestures towards Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal.
Messi and his teammates received criticism for their behaviour following their 2-2 draw on December 9 and subsequent win on penalties.
The Paris Saint-Germain player ran in front of Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal as he cupped his hands over his ears in celebration of his 73rd-minute penalty goal.
Messi had mentioned that the Netherlands manager used derogatory remarks about Argentina during the pre-match press conference.
“I knew what Van Gaal had said but it [the goal celebration] happened on the spur of the moment. I didn’t like what I did, I didn’t like what happened after. These are moments of nervousness and everything happens very quickly,” Messi said in an interview in Paris with Andy Kusnetzoff’s “Perros de la Calle” as quoted by ESPN.
At full-time, the Argentina captain was spotted arguing with Van Gaal and Edgar Davids, his assistant.
During a post-game interview, Messi allegedly yelled at Netherlands goal scorer Wout Weghorst.
Meanwhile, Messi stated he wouldn’t have it any other way despite the long wait to win the World Cup.
In Messi’s sixth World Cup, Argentina defeated France on penalties in Qatar to win their first World Cup in 36 years.
“I think if I had to choose the moment, it would have been this one. It’s at the end of my career, closing a circle. I achieved everything with the national team I always dreamed of. I got everything in my career, individually. It was closing my career in a unique way. I never imagined that all this was going to happen to me when I started and getting to this moment was the best. I have no complaints and I can’t ask for more. We won the Copa America  and the World Cup, there’s nothing left,” stated Messi.
Messi stated that he wanted for Diego Maradona to witness Argentina’s first World Cup victory since the Napoli icon assisted his country in winning the trophy in 1986.
Maradona, Messi’s World Cup 2010 coach, passed away in December 2020.
“I would have liked that Diego Maradona would have handed me the [World] Cup or at least to have seen all of this. To have seen Argentina as world champions, considering how much he desired it and how much he loved the national team. I think he from above, as well as many other people that love me, gave me strength,” Messi said.