“They Play The Same Football”: Louis Van Gaal Compares High-Flying Brazil to His Dutch Team Ahead of Quarter-Final

Van Gaal
Van Gaal
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Ahead of the Netherlands’ first World Cup quarter-final since 2014, Louis Van Gaal has made an interesting comparison between this current Dutch side and fellow last eight competitors Brazil.

In his third stint in charge of his native Netherlands, Van Gaal has steadied the ship to great effect following a period of turmoil, which saw them fail to qualify for the World Cup four years ago.

Fast forward to now, his old-school, straight-talking style saw them head to Qatar in the midst of a 15-game unbeaten run, which has continued right the way through the tournament to set up a fascinating quarter-final with Argentina.

Speaking to the press ahead Friday’s game however, he was bewildered at the lack of praise his side have received despite managing to avoid defeat, and went on to make a bold claim admitting he is surprised at the amount of plaudits Brazil have garnered.

Seleção dismantled South Korea with ease, dazzling with fleet footed trickery typical of Brazilian sides witnessed down the years.

The highlight of the match came courtesy of Richarlison who finished off a mesmerising team goal that featured an intricate passing sequence between centre-backs Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.

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However, Van Gaal has claimed Netherlands’ opening goal during their 3-1 victory over USA was just as good if not better after Memphis Depay rounded-off a satisfying one-touch passing move.

“I saw a piece of Brazil yesterday, they actually play the same football as the Dutch national team. They play from a compact defense and switch very quickly.

“The strange thing is that I then read in the media – from my friends – that it was sparkling football, while we also did that. We also scored that way. The goal was much nicer: that was a team goal. That rises above everything.

“That is the best moment of this World Cup. 10 times overplayed at high speed, it was really a super goal.”

Certainly not one to shy away from outlandish claims, Van Gaal’s last dance with the Dutch has so far been successful, but claims from back home of ‘boring’ football in the group stage were met with a typically comical response from the 71-year-old.

“Of course you can give your opinion,” Van Gaal said in response to the questions over his side’s perceived half-tilt style of play.

“Write it down that it’s boring and that you’re going home tomorrow because you couldn’t care less.”

The journalist responded saying “I’m here until the final.” Van Gaal fired back: “Excellent, I’ll see you there.”

The Netherlands will face Argentina on Friday evening for a place in the semi-finals against either Brazil or Croatia, and Van Gaal will be counting on stand-out performers such as breakthrough star Coady Gakpo to maintain the high-level they have displayed thus far.

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