Former Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal said that the 2022 World Cup was pre-arranged for Lionel Messi and Argentina to win.
After many months of absence from the public eye, former Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal was present at the Eredivise awards gala ceremony in Utrecht. During the event, Van Gaal was asked about the Dutch team at the World Cup in Qatar, where they lost to Argentina on penalties in the quarter-finals.
Sharing with NOS TV channel, Van Gaal said that the tournament was arranged for Messi to become the champion.
When asked by a journalist if he thought about this failure in the months that followed, Van Gaal replied:
“No because… I really don’t want to talk about it much. You see the score is 2-2, there is extra time and there are penalties. But if you see the goals that Argentina scored, the way we scored and the way some Argentine players exceeded the limit without being penalized… I think it was all a calculated match.”
When the reporter asked again, Van Gaal continued: “That’s what I mean. Messi must be the world champion.”
His reference to the Argentinian players being over the line could be a reference to the ball that Leandro Paredes threw towards the Dutch bench during a tense moment.
Nine months after the World Cup, being eliminated still seems to bother him. Van Gaal twice led the Netherlands to the World Cup finals, but lost to Argentina in the knockout rounds, including the 2014 semi-finals and the 2022 quarter-finals.
Argentina scored 14 goals in the 2022 World Cup, including 4 goals from the penalty spot thanks to Messi’s work. During the match against the Netherlands, Messi also had a few moments to provoke the opponent’s coaching staff and argued with striker Wout Weghorst.