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‘Lionel Messi behaved very badly’ – Mateu Lahoz claims Argentina superstar apologised for his ‘harsh words’ towards 2022 World Cup referee after explosive Netherlands clash


    The Spanish match official caused controversy at FIFA’s flagship event in Qatar when he handed out 17 yellow cards and a red during a fiery quarter-final clash between Argentina and the Netherlands – with the Albiceleste eventually prevailing on penalties in that contest before going on to claim the ultimate prize.


    Lahoz, who is no longer officiating in La Liga, has told Tiempo de Juego of the abuse he took from Messi before and during the crunch clash, before receiving an apology from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner: “Leo Messi called me after the Netherlands game in the World Cup and apologised for the harsh words he said to me during the game. He was a different Messi in that game. He behaved very badly in the World Cup, it was a shame. We shared more than 50 matches together down the years. After the Topo Gigio celebration [cupped ears], the Dutch got excited and it was a provocation.”