Andries Noppert Not Fretting Over Lionel Messi Factor In NED Vs ARG Quarterfinal


The Netherlands and Argentina face off in the quarterfinals and the winner will face either Brazil or Croatia in the semifinals.

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Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert during training. (Image: Twitter)

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Doha: Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert isn’t fretting over the Lionel Messi factor in the quarterfinals when the Dutch face title favourites Argentina on Friday night (Saturday). The high-octane encounter will be played at the Lusail Stadium.

“He is a great player but he also makes mistakes,” Noppert told reporters following Netherlands’ training session on Wednesday. “We have seen him in this tournament. He is like us, a human being. Of course, he is good but he can also make mistakes.”

Messi has been in impressive form in Qatar, scoring three times in four games to help the Albiceleste into the last eight for the first time since 2014. On the other hand, Noppert has been a revelation for the Dutch at this World Cup.

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Noppert, who plays club football for SC Heerenveen, made his international debut in the team’s opening match of the tournament against Senegal. He said he will be eternally grateful for the confidence instilled in him by manager Louis van Gaal.

“A good coach is someone who also works with the players who are not playing well and who are still fighting to get into the team,” the 28-year-old said. “That’s the most important thing.”

He added: “It’s true that this (playing in the World Cup) is new for me, but it’s a good test. I just have to be myself. The teammates and the coaches accept it. I try to do it my way. It’s a different world for me, but that’s not going to change me.”

The Netherlands and Argentina face off in the quarterfinals, looking for a ticket to the last four and a match against either Brazil or Croatia. Argentina progressed as Group C winners before beating Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16 thanks to a sparkling display from Lionel Messi.

The Dutch finished top of Group A and a Memphis Depay-inspired side went on to defeat USA 3-1 in the last 16.

Published Date: December 8, 2022 1:11 PM IST

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