Messi praises Argentina's intelligence after Croatia win

By Reuters   December 13, 2022 | 04:40 pm PT
Messi praises Argentina's intelligence after Croatia win
Argentina players celebrate after the World Cup semifinal with Croatia as Argentina progress to the final, Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar, December 13, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Lionel Messi praised Argentina's intelligence after they swept aside Croatia with a no-nonsense 3-0 win to reach the World Cup final on Wednesday (Hanoi time), having shown more guts than flair to beat the Netherlands in the previous round.

Messi converted a first-half penalty before Julian Alvarez scored either side of the interval to see off an overwhelmed Croatia, who had little left in the tank after progressing through the two previous rounds on penalties.

"We're an intelligent squad, we know how to read the game we know how to suffer when necessary, when to press. Every detail counts in every match," Messi, on a mission to win his first World Cup, told a news conference.

"We knew that sometimes they were not really tidy and would leave space behind."

Messi made the most of that space to set up Alvarez for the third goal after a superb run to the byline that capped a remarkable performance.

World Cup 2022 semifinal: Argentina 3-0 Croatia

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