Dutch coach Louis van Gaal said they will do more than to watch Messi and thinks that in the semi-final with Argentina the chances of qualification are 50-50.
Until now the Argentine footballer scored four goals at the World Cup in Brazil, goals that were decisive for his team to reach in this stage of the competition.
Every time Messi was surrounded by opposite players, and all the attention is on the 27-year-old footballer, but Van Gaal wanted to mention that they play against a team, not just against Leo Messi.
“We are playing against Argentina. We’re preparing a strategy for a team, not individual players, so I’ll be ready for Argentina and their players,” said Van Gaal .
“Messi has been elected the best player in the world. There’s a reason for that. If you score so many goals, you have an added value.
“But on the most important stage, he hasn’t always pulled it off. He’s always found it difficult to do that at international level and he wants to change that at this tournament. We want to stop him, so that’s going to be quite a challenge.”
“I don’t think there’s a favourite,” he said. “In the semi-finals, the countries are at the same level. The results have reflected that in the quarter-finals and the last 16, so I’d say it’ll be a 50-50 match.”