World Cup 2022: Messi pulls off assist of the tournament vs Netherlands

World Cup 2022: Messi pulls off assist of the tournament vs Netherlands

  • Lionel Messi left the football world stunned with an exquisite piece of play during Argentina’s clash against Netherlands
  • The Argentine picked up teammate Nahuel Molina with a seemingly impossible pass for Argentina’s opener
  • No player has created more chances in World Cup history than Lionel Messi (since Opta's records began in 1966)

Lionel Messi once again gave fans a reason to consider him one of the greatest ever players in football history thanks to a brilliant assist on Friday, December 9.

Argentina came up against the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter final as the two nations looked to renew an age-old rivalry.

La Albiceleste went into the game with knowledge that getting past Netherlands would set up a semi-final clash with Croatia, who stunned favourites in the earlier match.

Messi, Argentina, World Cup
Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after Nahuel Molina of Argentina scores during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter-final match between Netherlands and Argentina. Photo by Ian MacNicol.
Source: Getty Images

For Messi, the Netherlands are familiar foes as his Argentina side knocked out the same opponents in the semi-final back in 2014.

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Nothing short of his best would do against Louis Van Gaal’s side, and Messi once again proved just how important he is to his national team.

After the two nations cancelled each other in the opening exchanges, up-stepped Messi with what is arguably the assist of the tournament.

Having collected the ball halfway into the Netherlands' half, Messi played a through ball into opposition territory which somehow beat three defenders on its way.

The ball found Nahuel Molina, who poked the ball past Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert.

What seemed to amaze people who witnessed the goal was the fact that Messi did not take time to look at Molina’s run as he seemed to have already established his teammate was in space.

Messi slams Van Gaal

Sports Brief also reported on how Lionel Messi openly mocked Louis Van Gaal after Argentina advanced to the World Cup semi-finals.

Argentina beat the Netherlands on post-match penalties to set up a semifinal date with Croatia but the game was marred by ugly confrontations.

Nahuel Molina and Messi had put Argentina on their way with a goal in each half only for Wout Weghorst to score a late brace to restore parity. Argentina's goalkeeper Emi Martinez saved two spot-kicks to help his side go through.

After the final whistle, Messi was seen exchanging a few words with Van Gaal. Before the game, Van Gaal had opined that he had an idea on how to stop Messi. A plan that failed to materialise as the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner pulled the strings once again.

Source: Sports Brief News