Belgium coach Wilmots not impressed by ‘ordinary’ Argentina
‘I don’t want to be a cry baby, but every time there is a little foul it was always in favour of Argentina’
Belgium’s coach Marc Wilmots consoles Toby Alderweireld after defeat to Argentina in Brasilia. Photograph: Dylan Martinez / Reuters
An Argentina fan holds up a Gonzalo Higuain shirt during the quarter-finalagainst Belgium at Estadio Nacional . Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Gonzalo Higuain’s early goal was enough to decide the contest after which Wilmots said he was proud of his team but derided Argentina’s approach. Wilmots also claimed Lionel Messi was given an easy ride by the referee, Nicola Rizzoli of Italy.
The Belgium coach said: “We were not impressed by the Argentinians, they were just an ordinary team. They can distort the rhythm, they take 30 seconds to take a throw-in and the referee doesn’t do anything.
“They had the goal, and Messi was one-on-one with (Thibaut) Courtois at the end but how many shots have they had? If I played that way I would have been destroyed by the Belgium press.
“They didn’t give us any space, this was a World Cup quarter-final and their extra experience probably counted for something.”
Wilmots said the referee had favoured Argentina and in particular Messi.
“I don’t want to be a cry baby, but every time there is a little foul it was always in favour of Argentina,” he added. “Every time something happens with Messi the referee gives him a free-kick. I notice he made three fouls and no yellow card, we made one foul and one yellow card.”
Wilmots said: “We make a small, small mistake, Vincent comes out of position and they score. I’m very proud of the boys, I have told them ‘you guys are the youngest of all the last-eight teams’.
“There was a great deal of emotion, some of my staff were crying in the dressing room, because there is so much passion.”