In his column for eurosport.com, Holger Badstuber talked about Leo Messi and Argentina's advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup. “His ecstatic emotions and strong reactions after winning the penalty shootout said a lot,” -Badstuber wrote.
“I saw it working in him, he wants that World Cup trophy with all his power on his last try.
And the chance for it this year is greater than it has been for a long time. He carries the nation; the nation carries him. Messi is ready for the title.
The construct around Messi fits perfectly. Everyone is working for him to give him space for brilliant moments.
That wasn't always the case and may now become the decisive factor on the way to the final.
Messi himself has continued to develop and change his game as he's gotten older. He knows that the team also needs him defensively, up front as the first link in the defensive network.
And he pays back: his effort in the game against the ball was clearly more than before. With the ball at his feet, he is almost invincible anyway”.
Holger Badstuber on Leo Messi
As a football player, Badstuber had the opportunity to play against Messi.
He is aware of his strengths and what he can do on the field. "In 2012, I faced him on the pitch myself in an international friendly match with Germany as a defender and thought, there is actually something of magic in what he does.
He sees things far ahead, and passes the balls excellently.
I myself noticed at the time that you can't catch Messi. He has a very tight ball control, so you have to take small, quick steps, but you can't get to the ball.
Messi, on the other hand, knows exactly when you have to take a long step.
And when you take one at some point, it's over. He puts the ball on his left foot and is gone. Messi reacts to you with the ball on his foot. That's fascinating”. Louis van Gaal decided to step away from the position of coach.
Badstuber had only words of praise for the Dutchman. “I wouldn't have begrudged the Netherlands, or rather my former coach and supporter Louis van Gaal, the semi-final. Van Gaal managed - as he once did with us at FC Bayern - to make the players enjoy the game. He brought in a clear line and formed a team. He deserves a lot of respect for that.