Demichelis: Argentina must get under Robben's skin

The experienced defender has singled out his former teammate as the man to watch, but is ready to do whatever it takes to stop him.

Argentina defender Martin Demichelis has admitted he will try and "get under the skin" of Netherlands star Arjen Robben in Wednesday's World Cup semifinal.

Demichelis - who played alongside Robben and under Dutch coach Louis van Gaal at Bayern Munich - believes the winger can be stopped if his team adopts a physical approach.

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"We have to be aggressive, to show the passion of the Argentinian players to the Dutch – and especially to Robben," Demichelis told Clarin. "He doesn't like physical contact, so you have to make him feel it and get under his skin. He is a phenomenon and it is vital to know which way he goes. But he's not got much edge, he's not a fighter.

"Therefore you have to attack him because the more you stand off, the nearer to the goal you take him and the less margin of error you have."

Van Gaal ended Demichelis' eight-year stint at Bayern, selling him to Malaga before he followed coach Manuel Pellegrini to the Etihad Stadium, but the center back has nothing but respect for his former boss.

"I was irritated [when left out of the side] but I always recognized he was the best football wise, for the concepts he has and how he imposes them on a team. He has shown that in this World Cup.

"I didn't leave because of him, but because of my own decision. I've seen him do bold things many times. For example, he'd get in front of the squad and say who was the best or worst at doing different things. He has a real determination in thinking about the team and potential consequences. I learned a lot from Van Gaal."