Lionel Messi He had an old acquaintance at the helm in Argentina vs. the Netherlands. He was not a former teammate or a special rival, but a referee with whom he had had more than one encounter before: Antonio Mateu Lahoz. And ‘Leo’, of course, did not miss the opportunity to criticize him at the end of the game, once again, due to his bad refereeing.
In Argentina vs. Netherlands, Mateu Lahoz got a total of 15 yellow cards, 8 for Argentina and 7 for the Netherlands. This caused the annoyance of Lionel Messi, who did not tire of claiming him during the game. In fact, Leo was one of those reprimanded.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee because you can’t be honest, if you talk they sanction you, FIFA must think about it, they can’t put a referee like that for these instances, they can’t put a referee who isn’t up to it,” said Lionel Messi in statements to DirecTV.
The Spanish referee in question was appointed by FIFA to direct the match between the Argentines and the Dutch in the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, a fact that undoubtedly brought memories of Vietnam to ‘Leo’.
And it is that the Argentine star has already starred in more than one discussion with this referee when he played for Barcelona. There are not a few times in which the ’10’ has disagreed with some arbitration decision by Lahoz in La Liga matches in Spain.
In fact, both starred in strong exchanges of words in the field. Without going very far, the last precedent that is evoked took place in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, when the Valencian judge showed ‘Leo’ the yellow card for a tribute to Diego Maradona, who had recently died.
It was in a match between Barcelona and Osasuna for the Spanish tournament, in which Messi shone with a great goal and in his celebration he did not hesitate to honor ‘Pelusa’ by taking off his Barça shirt to display the ’10’ of the Newell’s Old Boys of the season 1993/94 while looking at the sky.
Mateu Lahoz had no compassion and applied the regulation to the letter showing him the yellow card. “In the 73rd minute the player (10) Messi Cuccittini, Lionel Andrés was booked for the following reason: For taking off his shirt, after scoring a goal, showing a new Newells Old Boys team shirt, from the 93/94 season , with the number 10 on the back”he wrote in the minutes of the match.
One of the most card holders in the World Cup and his background
The average number of yellow cards in Qatar 2022 is being 3.25 per game, but Mateu Lahoz exceeds those limits. Before Argentina vs. the Netherlands, the Spanish referee refereed just two matches of this World Cup (Qatar vs. Senegal and Iran vs. United States) and admonished 10 times.
With an average of five yellow cards per match, the Spaniard was in the Top 5 of the referees with the most cards in the World Cup. Surely, he is already the most card holder with the 15 yellow cards that he added this Friday.
A no less important fact is that in the two games that he was in charge of the group stage, the Valencian judge issued his first warning before the end of the first half. In Qatar vs Senegal he showed the first yellow card in the 20th minute and in Iran vs the United States he did it in the 43rd minute.
Likewise, according to the specialized portal Transfermarkt, Mateu Lahoz has directed 498 games and has had a balance of 2,313 yellow cards (4.6 per game), 62 double yellow cards, 54 direct red cards and 119 penalties awarded.
All this was taken into account by the two teams that were refereed by him today, especially Argentina, who had never before had this referee in charge in a senior team match.
The Netherlands, for their part, already knew what it was like to be led by Mateu Lahoz. Previously, the Valencian judge delivered justice to this team twice, in a qualifying match for Euro 2016 against Turkey (3-0 defeat) and in a 2016 friendly against England (2-1 victory).
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.