Netherlands star responds to infamous spat with Lionel Messi at 2022 FIFA World Cup

Netherlands international Wout Weghorst has reflected on his infamous spat with Argentina captain Lionel Messi after La Albiceleste beat Holland in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina, led by Messi, put an end to their 36-year-long wait to win the FIFA World Cup last weekend. They beat France on penalties in the final to lift the trophy in Qatar on Sunday, December 18.

La Albiceleste won each of their six matches after succumbing to a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opener. The Netherlands, though, gave them a run for their money in their quarter-final clash.

Argentina appeared to be heading towards an easy win after taking a two-goal lead in the game. However, Weghorst’s heroics off the bench saw the scoreline read 2-2 at the end of normal time.

Lionel Scaloni’s men eventually won on penalties, but the match had lots of tense moments. The bust-up between the two teams led to Messi pausing a post-match interview to launch an attack on Weghorst in the tunnel. Looking towards the Dutchman, the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar said:

“Who are you looking at? Go ahead you stupid.”

Two weeks after the incident, Weghorst has now provided his thoughts on the spat with his Argentina counterpart. He insisted that such instances are a part of the game and went on to express his admiration for the 35-year-old. He was quoted as saying by Turkish outlet En Son Haber [via Inside Futbol]:

“For me, everyone is the same in a match. I fight. That’s what I did in that match. I had some tense moments with Messi in the match and maybe he was surprised. I respect him a lot, he’s one of the best ever.”

At the time, there were suggestions that Weghorst was waiting for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner in the tunnel to confront him. However, the Burnley striker, who is on loan at Besiktas, clarified that he just wanted to congratulate him. He added:

“After the game I wanted to show Messi the respect I have for him, but he wasn’t very open to it. Now at least he has learnt my name.”

Messi won the Golden Ball at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

While the likes of Emiliano Martinez and Julian Alvarez stepped up, the PSG superstar did most of the heavy lifting for Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His contributions were integral to Albiceleste’s victory in Qatar.

He found the back of the net seven times in as many matches in the tournament and also provided three assists. He was handed the Golden Ball award at the end of the competition as a result.

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