• Netherlands are yet to lose a game in 2022 World Cup
  • Argentina started the tournament with a 2-1 defeat
  • Leo Messi has netted three goals so far this World Cup

Netherlands center-back Virgil van Dijk has made a strong statement involving Lionel Messi ahead of his side's quarter-final clash with Argentina.

The two sides are set to come face to face in the last-eight round of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Van Dijk said the upcoming big game was not about him going against Messi. He even made it clear that his side would have to be cautious of the Argentina skipper.

"It's not about me, or the Netherlands, against Messi, it's about the Netherlands against Argentina," Van Dijk told reporters.

When asked by a reporter how worried his side was about facing seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, the Dutch center-back replied, "Worried no, but cautious of what Argentina can bring to the game. They are a fantastic team with fantastic players, and we are going to have to do well in all departments of the match."

Messi has netted three goals and an assist for Argentina in the tournament that is ongoing in Qatar.

With two wins and a draw, Netherlands finished at the top of Group A before they went past United States Men's National Team (USMNT) 3-1 in the Round of 16. Even though Netherlands are yet to lose a game in the 2022 World Cup, captain Van Dijk said his side could play better in Qatar.

"We also feel that our play in the last game could have been better. We are all perfectionists and would like to have performed better. But what is nice is that we are still in the competition and playing in the quarterfinals," Van Dijk added.

Lionel Messi celebrates after Argentina beat Australia to reach the World Cup quarter-finals

Netherlands, who have lost three World Cup finals (in 1974, 1978 and 2010), are looking to break the jinx and clinch their maiden world title. Van Dijk and Co also lost the UEFA Nations League final in 2019.

"There is a hunger, dreams, and a feeling that we really want to get it [the World Cup]. When you are in the quarterfinals you are only three games from glory. This is our opportunity. But obviously, we have to get past an Argentina side with one of the best players of all time," the Liverpool star added.