Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella spoke of his “great joy” after his side beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in Sao Paulo on Wednesday to reach the World Cup final.
“It’s a great joy. It was a very difficult, very close match,” said Sabella, whose side will face Germany in Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro.
“Some of our players are sore, beaten, tired - the results of a war, so to speak.
“I’m happy. We’re in the final. We’ll see what we can do with one day less recovery time [compared to Germany] and after penalties.
“But we’ll give everything: humility, hard work, 100 per cent. We’ll see if that’s enough for us to win.”
Lionel Messi posted on his social media pages: "I’m proud to be a part of this group. They are all phenomenons, what a match they played.
"What madness. We are in the final. Let’s enyoy it, it is just a litle step more."
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero repelled penalties from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the penalty shootout after a cagey stalemate finished 0-0 following extra time at the Corinthians Arena.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal admitted he wanted to use substitute keeper Tim Krul in the penalty shoot-out.
Van Gaal said he would have taken off goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen for Krul – in a repeat of the gambit which won the quarter-final with Costa Rica – but had run out of substitutes.
“I would have done it but I had already used my three substitutes so I couldn’t do it,” Van Gaal said when asked if he’d thought about bringing on Krul.
It meant that Krul, who saved two spot-kicks against Costa Rica, was a frustrated spectator on the bench as Argentina prevailed in the shoot-out 4-2.
The defeat had an extra twist for van Gaal because Argentina keeper Sergio Romero saved two Dutch spot-kicks.
Van Gaal worked with Romero during the player’s four-year stint at AZ Alkmaar.
“I taught Romero to stop penalties, so that hurts,” van Gaal joked.
Argentina, chasing their third World Cup title, last reached the final in Italy in 1990, when they lost 1-0 to West Germany.