Former Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has made some incredible comments regarding Argentina’s triumph with Lionel Messi at the 2022 World Cup. The 72-year-old coach has now claimed that the tournament was rigged to help Messi win. Messi’s Argentina beat van Gaal’s Dutch side in the quarterfinals of the competition. Argentina then went on to collect the trophy in Qatar.
While speaking with Dutch news outlet NOS, van Gaal was asked to reflect on the World Cup. “I don’t really want to say much about it. When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it all premeditated game,” proclaimed van Gaal.
The NOS reporter then asked van Gaal to clarify what exactly he meant. “I mean everything I say,” replied the coach.
Messi, van Gaal had heated exchange at World Cup
Messi and van Gaal have a bit of a contentious history. Prior to the World Cup in Qatar, the Dutch coach claimed that Messi does not help his teammates enough while out of possession. The superstar then counterattacked these claims by blasting van Gaal’s tactics as a coach. However, things escalated during the Argentina-Netherlands matchup at the tournament.
The two teams met in the quarterfinal stage of the competition. The match was a feisty affair, with both sides going at each other throughout the game. In fact, the referee handed out a total of 16 yellow cards during the fixture. Messi even directed his celebrations of his goal in the 73rd minute towards van Gaal. This did not go down well with the opposing manager.
After Argentina knocked off the Netherlands on penalties, Messi told reporters that he felt “disrespected” by van Gaal. The two then saw each other during the interview and Messi temporarily halted the discussion to yell out profanities towards the coach.
Coach also says cancer treatment is going well
Van Gaal is currently recovering from cancer treatment. Doctors diagnosed the Dutch coach with prostate cancer in 2022. He has undergone a series of surgeries since then. Nevertheless, the former coach also told NOS that he is now feeling good and hoping that the most recent surgery did its job.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Moritz Müller
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo