Tim Krul has vowed to wind up Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates if Holland’s World Cup semi-final goes to penalties on Wednesday.
Krul drew criticism for his antics during Holland’s 4-3 penalty shootout win over Costa Rica on Saturday night.
The Newcastle goalkeeper spoke to every Costa Rican penalty taker as they prepared to take their kick and he also walked around the penalty area in order to psyche the opposing player out.
Some believe Krul’s actions were not in keeping with the spirit of the game, but the 26-year-old is sure he did the right thing – and he will not hesitate to do the same again.
”I don’t think I did anything wrong,” the Holland goalkeeper told a press conference in Rio on Sunday.
”I did nothing crazy. I didn’t shout in an aggressive manner. I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it.
”I was trying to get in their heads and it worked because I saved two penalties.
”It is a good way of psyching (penalty takers) out and I am happy to do it again.“
Argentina have not yet had to endure the lottery of a penalty shootout at this World Cup, but if Wednesday’s game in Sao Paulo went to spot-kicks, Messi would certainly take one.
Whoever the five takers are, Krul will be ready for them.
”We will analyse every Argentina penalty on Monday,“ the stopper said. ”’We will sit together and write up a plan.”
Krul only came on to the field of play in the 120th minute as a replacement for number one Jasper Cillessen.
Holland coach Louis van Gaal thought Krul would be better equipped to save a penalty as he is two inches taller than Cillessen, and he was right.
Krul thought the decision to bring him on was a stroke of genius from the Manchester United manager in waiting.
”When I started my warm up, the (Costa Rica) bench was confused about what was going on,” Krul added. “’I saw the Costa Rica manager’s face – it was priceless!
”It is an honour for us to have a coach like (Van Gaal).
”A club like Manchester United knows what the world of football thinks of him.
”He is proving it in this tournament and he has shown what tactical qualities he has.”
Interestingly, Cillessen only learned about the plan to substitute him as Krul was warming up.
The Ajax stopper was none too happy with the move at the time as he kicked over a water bottle when leaving the pitch, soaking Holland defender Bruno Martins Indi in the process.
“I didn’t know it would happen before, it was a bit of a surprise,” said Cillessen, who has been told he will start against Argentina.
“I was a bit angry. I wanted to play an play the penalty shoot out. I was angry, and went out. I kicked the water bottle – Bruno was feeling warm so I did it to cool him down.
“It is a pity I wasn’t told, but it worked very well. He made two saves.”