“Argentina and maybe Brazil in the next round are different countries to those we’ve met here before,” Van Gaal said. In a room with hundreds of journalists, he made a show of his press conference.
71 year old young god
Describing himself as a ’71-year-old young god’, Van Gaal attempted to kiss Memphis Depay on the mouth to show that he is also on good terms with the players he met at Manchester United:
The show Van Gaal put on was very different from the press conference of fellow Argentinian Lionel Scaloni, who evaded almost every question and gave many meaningless answers.
The Netherlands and Argentina have met more often in the World Cup. Sometimes things went well for the Orange, like in the 1974 World Cup (4-0) and in the 1998 World Final (2-1), with an unprecedented goal from Dennis Bergkamp. But Argentina beat the Netherlands in the 1978 World Cup final after extra time (3-1) and eight years ago the double world champion took better penalties after a goalless semi-final .
Do not compare
“But all those games can’t be compared to this game,” Van Gaal said. “In 1974 and 1978, football was still an open game. But it’s not that anymore. You can find out what you think. But that’s how football evolved. You can still get some decisive moments. Even moments that you will remember for years to come. I know our game is criticized. But if we execute our plan well, we will play offensively. Just like Brazil here, even though they have many strikers. marvellous.
Van Gaal wouldn’t say much about his battle plan to meet the Argentines again. But the national coach knows he has a better chance of success if Lionel Messi doesn’t touch the ball much. Marten de Roon will likely be tasked with hampering the Argentine star in midfield. Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Jurriën Timber and Nathan Aké will try to keep Messi as far away from goalkeeper Andries Noppert as possible.
Van Gaal won’t change his base line-up from the Round of 16 against USA in many places. Steven Bergwijn could return to the team. In this case, Cody Gakpo will play as an attacking midfielder. Davy Klaassen should then take his place on the bench.
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