Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has cautioned the Netherlands that Lionel Messi is always “chilling someplace” before their match against Argentina.
Messi stole the show as his team defeated Australia 2-1 to advance past the round of 16. He set up a matchup with the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Van Dijk already saw when Messi motivated Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League. And he is aware that Messi can make a difference in any game.
Van Dijk says the team has to be ready for Messi
Van Dijk said:
“The difficult thing about him is when we are attacking, he is chilling somewhere in a corner or something. You have to be so very sharp in terms of defensive organisation.
They always looked for him to try to make it difficult for us on the counter.
It is not me against him or the Netherlands against him, but the Netherlands against Argentina.
No one can do it on his own, we will have to come up with a good plan.”
Since 2003, the Netherlands have not defeated Argentina. The previous time they faced off, Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to get to the final in 2014.
The winner of Friday’s match between the Netherlands and Argentina will face Brazil or Croatia in the semifinals.
It’s a big match for Messi, as it’s probably his last world cup. Moreover, he has been godly for his club and country this season after a slow 2021-22 season.
Messi and Co. started the World Cup with a shocking defeat to Saudi Arabia. But they have since picked up the form, winning all 3 games.
While for the Dutch, they have been clinical in this tournament. They have controlled every game and have been defensively sound.
With De Ligt, Ake, and Van Dijk at the back, It will be difficult for Argentina. But they also are equipped with some serious assaults in the form of Alvarez, Messi, and Di Maria. It will be an exciting encounter and a treat for the fans