Lionel Messi has admitted that he regretted the incidents that took place during and after Argentina’s 2022 World Cup quarter-final tie against the Netherlands.
The Albiceleste managed to qualify on penalties after a tense game where Messi was engaged in an argument with the Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal.
After the game, Messi still looked frustrated despite Argentina’s victory and lashed out at the Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst.
“Keep moving, idiot,” Messi told the Dutchman in the tunnel.
However, the Paris Saint-Germain star has admitted that he is not pleased with what happened with the current Manchester United striker.
“I didn’t think about it, it came out in the moment,” Messi said of the incident with Weghorst in an interview with 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.
“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.”
The Argentine admitted that he has not watched the final again and that the night before the match he slept well and did nothing special.
“I saw highlights, moments, people’s celebrations when we are world champions, but the final itself, the 90 minutes, I haven’t watched it again,” he said.
He also remembered Diego Maradona and stressed that he wished the late Argentina legend was alive to watch the final.
“I would have liked him, if he didn’t hand me the World Cup trophy, to at least see all this,” Messi noted.
“I think that both he and many people who love me were pushing from above, not only for this but for everything in general”.
Messi also recalled the moment when he kissed the trophy before he lifted it.
“I saw it there and I couldn’t not do what I did,” Messi declared.
“The World Cup was calling me. It said to me ‘Here I am, come and grab me, now you can touch me’.
“I saw it shining there, it stood out in that beautiful stadium and I didn’t think about it, I went to kiss it because I passed by it. I needed it.”
The Argentina forward also explained how his children and his wife experienced Argentina’s World Cup run.
“It was an incredible month for me and my family,” Messi recalled.
“Thiago was crazy. Seeing how he enjoyed it, how he felt it, how he suffered… because after the match with the Netherlands he was crying.
“Or Mateo doing the maths after the match we lost against Saudi Arabia. Ciro is the one who understands the least, but the other two experienced it as fans.
“Suffering, living it to the fullest, enjoying it. Even when we returned to Paris, we missed the days in Qatar. We had a great time.”
Meanwhile, Messi revealed that his Instagram account was blocked after receiving one million messages after Argentina’s triumph.
“It’s a very nice thing that other sportsmen recognize you in that way,” he argued.
“I’m not much for replying or commenting on photos, at most giving a like.”