Virgil van Dijk gave his opinion on the controversy stirred up by ex-Holland manager Louis Van Gaal, in a recent press conference.
Van Gaal was Netherlands’ coach for the 2022 World Cup campaign, where the Dutch faced off against Argentina in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Van Gaal’s men completed a last-gasp comeback in extra-time to draw the game level at 2-2 thanks to a clever set piece play ad tidy finish from Wout Weghorst.
However, it was heartbreak for the Dutch who went out on penalties, as Argentina marched on, eventually winning the entire tournament.
Some would say the final of the 2022 Qatar World Cup was the ‘fairytale” ending to Lionel Messi’s career, as he conquered his final peak and won the last piece of the puzzle in his illustrious career, which was being called World Champion.
However, Van Gaal in a recent interview, came all guns blazing, stating that their fixture was preconceived in Argentina’s favor, meaning Van Gaal was hinting towards the fact that the World Cup was rigged in order to ensure Messi would have the last laugh.
It was a game prepared in advance, Leo Messi had to be world champion.
These were major allegations, coming from the ex-manager of a national team that played in the World Cup.
The football world quickly went into frenzy, with the debate being brought up around circles on social media once again. The story spread so much like wildfire, that Netherlands Captain Virgil Van Dijk was asked for his opinion, on his ex-manager’s statement.
The Liverpool center-back replied by saying that everyone is entitled to their opinion but he himself, doesn’t agree with Van Gaal’s words. He even took responsibility for his entire team, saying that they had a similar opinion to their captain.
Van Gaal’s words about Messi? He can say what he wants, it’s his opinion, but I do not agree with him and I don’t share the same opinion.
Needless to say Messi fans loved the support from the Liverpool defender:
Bodied his own coach 😂😭😭 pic.twitter.com/whRnSZ0ZZT— TITUS 💀 (@MCFC_TITUS) September 5, 2023
Van Dijk has always lauded Messi with praise and showcased respect to him.
Whether it be this Van Gaal incident, him hailing Messi the greatest player of all time or whether it be protecting the man himself from his own teammates.
The Liverpool turned peacemaker for Messi during an altercation between Netherlands and Argentina players in the 2022 World Cup. This incident and Van Dijk’s statement regarding Van Gaal goes to show how much respect he has for the 7-time Ballon d’or winner.
Manchester United legends, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra were also quick to state their views on the debate and both of them agreed that there was no way the world cup was rigged for Messi, and Evra went on to explain how difficult it is to score 5 penalties, which was a major argument of people saying the tournament was preconceived.
The Argentina national team’s social media was quick to throw shade at Van Gaal’s accusations, as they made a post about their team’s world cup journey and captioned the post, “The Argentina national team lost many times, but it always knew how to lose.” Indicating that Van Gaal’s words were out of pure jealousy, and he was a sore loser.
Messi’s Argentina teammate and Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul as well was quick to hint towards Van Gaal’s claims.
The Argentina national team was back in training due to the international break and De Paul posted a photo of him, Scaloni and Messi, with the caption, “No one can take away everything that we have achieved…. but a new cycle begins, a new path for the next World Cup. Here we go!”, throwing shade at the ex-Manchester United manager’s accusations.