The Netherlands captain made his stance clear on where he stands on Louis van Gaal’s claim that the FIFA World Cup was rigged.
Louis van Gaal, former head coach of the Netherlands, has implied that last year’s FIFA World Cup was rigged to help Lionel Messi and his Argentinian squad lift the trophy.
But not everyone agrees with him. Virgil van Dijk, who played against Argentina in the quarter-finals, has spoken out against Van Gaal. The Dutch captain didn’t mince his words, telling NOS: “I do not share the same opinion.”
What did Van Gaal say exactly?
Last December, Argentina sent the Netherlands packing in the quarter-finals. They won 4-3 on penalties after a thrilling 2-2 draw. The game had 15 cards, 14 yellow and one red for Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries.
But Van Gaal, who quit the Dutch team after the World Cup, has suggested the outcome was “premeditated”.
“I do not really want to say much about it,” the 72-year-old told reporters.
“When you see how Argentina scored their goals and how we scored our goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it was all a premeditated game.”
Van Gaal added that he meant everything he said when asked to clarify his comments.
He was also asked if he believed that Messi should become world champion, to which he responded, “I think so, yes.”
Notably, the tension between Messi and Van Gaal was palpable during the quarter-final. Messi even taunted the Dutchman as he celebrated scoring Argentina’s second goal of the game. He then approached him after the penalty shootout.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner later led Argentina to World Cup glory. He scored a brace in the final against France to help end the team’s 36-year wait for a world title, while securing the first of his own career.
Louis van Gaal thinks the World Cup was fixed so Lionel Messi would win 🤯 pic.twitter.com/eEabfOoJIP
— GOAL (@goal) September 5, 2023