The Netherlands will be bidding to “change” the memories from their semi-final loss on penalties in 2014 when they face Argentina again at the World Cup on Friday, said forward Memphis Depay.
One of the tournament’s most storied rivalries will add another chapter in the quarter-final clash at Lusail Stadium, eight years after Louis van Gaal’s side were a shootout away from reaching the final in Brazil.
Follow the action in our live blog below!
Watch the world’s best footballers every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Netherlands book spot in quarter-finals | 01:24
Depay was a unused substitute that day, but is expected to start this time around.
“In 2014 I was there and things ended slightly differently (to how we wanted) but I’d like to change that now,” the Barcelona forward told a pre-match press conference.
A semi-final place against Brazil or Croatia is up for grabs and Van Gaal, back in charge for a third spell, knows his team will need to step up.
“The tournament is actually starting tomorrow for real for us, although of course I don’t want to downplay the importance of other countries we were able to beat,” he said.
“But Argentina and Brazil, who we will possibly play in the next round, are quite different to the teams we beat in the group stage and last 16.”
The last time the two teams met in a World Cup quarter-final in 1998, the Netherlands won thanks to a memorable late winning goal by Dennis Bergkamp.
“It was an amazing moment for the country and what a goal,” said Depay. “The game will be decided on moments in the game. So if we believe we can catch a moment we can go through.”
The two countries have met five previous times at the World Cup, including in the 1978 final, which Argentina won 3-1 after extra time. Argentina have never beaten the Dutch in 90 minutes.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is hoping to finally end his wait for a World Cup title with Argentina, after losing the final to Germany in extra time eight years ago.
The Paris Saint-Germain star has dazzled in Qatar and the Dutch will have to nullify his affect on the game.
“We’re not going to reveal our tactics to you (about stopping Messi). It would be pretty stupid to reveal your own tactics,” Van Gaal told reporters.
“But it’s not difficult to come up with an answer, you want to block and close the passing lines.”
“Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and to score goals himself. But when they lose the ball he doesn’t participate much, this gives us chances,” he said.
The 71-year-old Van Gaal returned to coaching after a five-year absence in 2021 to lead the Netherlands at the World Cup.
He will stand down after the tournament, but would not rule out taking another job.
“If I’m presented with a wonderful opportunity, say a country with a great challenge, it could well be that I continue to work as a coach for a bit.
“I’m 71, of course I look marvellous, I look young.”
USMNT steal crazy goal against Dutch | 00:36
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said Thursday he was optimistic Angel Di Maria and Rodrigo De Paul will be available for their World Cup quarter-final against the Netherlands.
Di Maria missed the last-16 win over Australia because of injury and there are concerns over the fitness of midfielder De Paul, who has played every minute of the tournament in Qatar.
“They’re doing well. We’re going to see them in training today to decide the line-up,” said Scaloni, visibly displeased by reports that De Paul is nursing a hamstring issue.
“Yesterday we trained behind closed doors and I don’t know where this information comes from,” he bristled.
“The truth is always that after a match there are players who train separately or do half the session based on the number of minutes played.
“Today we will make the decision on how we want to approach the match. That is the most important thing.”
MATCH CENTRE: Line-ups, live stats and more
Follow the action in our live blog below. If you can’t see the blog, click here.