- Van Gaal upset Messi before World Cup game
- Messi delivered strong performance
- Dutch coach told his approach was silly
WHAT HAPPENED? Riquelme chimed in on a longstanding war of words between fellow countryman Messi and former Netherlands boss Van Gaal, specifically speaking about Argentina's World Cup quarter-final win last month.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I think Van Gaal had [mentioned Messi before the match]," Riquelme told TyC Sports. "There are things that cannot happen in football. You can't make him angry. It is preferable to hug him, kiss him, so that he does not want to beat you.
"When the best player gets angry, you don't have a chance to beat him. It is impossible. That's why Van Gaal's declaration for Argentina was very good [for us]. In addition, Messi has an advantage because, when he gets angry, he doesn't get sent off like other players.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Van Gaal claimed that Messi "didn't touch the ball" when the Netherlands were knocked out of the 2014 World Cup semi-final on penalties by Argentina and said the Oranje wanted revenge. He also commented on the 35-year-old being passive when his side are out of possession.
But, for all of Van Gaal's criticisms, Messi proved instrumental as Argentina lifted the World Cup after beating the Dutch on penalties during their tense quarter-final game, with Van Gaal clashing with Argentine players on the sidelines afterwards.
IN TWO PHOTOS:GettyGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR VAN GAAL? The iconic Dutch coach entered retirement after the World Cup, though he has hinted that he could be coaxed back to the dugout one day.