Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert has said that he is ready to take on Lionel Messi in a potential penalty shootout, saying that the former Barcelona player is just ‘another human’ and he has already missed a penalty before in the World Cup.
Speaking ahead of Netherlands’ quarter-final tie in the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Argentina, the 28-year-old Heerenveen stopper said that although Messi is a great player, he can miss penalties too and that he can stop him from scoring from the spot.
“I’m always ready for that, and he can also miss, we saw it at the beginning of this tournament, so he’s the same like us – a human. For sure he’s good, but for sure I can catch the penalties.” Noppert was quoted as saying during his pre-game presser (h/t The European Lad).
Messi, 35, has scored three goals and one assist in four games at the world event in Qatar. He opened his scoring in Argentina’s opening game against Saudi Arabia in a 1-2 defeat. This was followed by a goal and an assist against Mexico before he went on to miss the penalty against Poland.
The former Barcelona forward eventually starred against Australia in the round of 16 tie in a 2-1 win.
Messi, who has made 169 appearances for the senior national team, has scored 94 goals so far, out of which 21 strikes have come from the spot. Interestingly enough, he has only missed five penalties for Argentina.
Netherlands face Argentina in the quarter-final tie of the FIFA World Cup on Friday at the Lusail Stadium. The winner of this tie will face the winning team between Brazil and Croatia in the last four.
It’s important to note that the Netherlands have lost just one of their nine meetings against Argentina in all competitions (W4, D4), with the latter’s only win coming way back in the 1978 World Cup final.