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Netherlands boss Van Gaal laughs off 'stupid' Messi question ahead of World Cup quarter-final showdown with Argentina

10:48 GMT+3 09/12/2022
 Louis Van Gaal Netherlands 2022
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal laughed off a question about how he planned to stop Lionel Messi in the World Cup quarter-final against Argentina.
  • Van Gaal has special plans for Messi
  • Did not reveal his ideas
  • Scaloni ready to tackle any eventuality

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi has been the talk of the town before Argentina take on the Netherlands on Friday. Van Gaal did not hide that he has a tailor-made plan for his defensive unit to stop the Argentine skipper. But he did not reveal the whole of it as he thinks it would be "pretty stupid" to do so.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We’re not going to reveal any plans to you - it would be pretty stupid of us to do so. But it’s not that difficult to come up with an answer as to how to stop him. You might want to block and close the passing lines. I can’t see this creating too much of a hoo-ha," he told reporters ahead of the match.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni wasn't having any of it and revealed that they have a few tactical options up their sleeves as well. "We’ll see what happens with Lionel tomorrow. We’re used to our opponents coming up with something different. We don’t want to jump to foregone conclusions. We might come up with a few tactical differences of our own. We have certain nuances. We can do something different to hurt them. And if they decide to man-mark Lionel, we’ll keep it in mind, too," he stated.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR VAN GAAL? The 71-year-old manager will look to continue his unbeaten run of 19 games in his third stint as Netherlands manager when the Dutch take on Argentina on Friday. If the Oranje pick up the win, they will face either Brazil or Croatia in the last four.