Qatar World Cup staged for Messi, Argentina to win, Van Gaal hints
Former Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal alleged that the World Cup 2022 in Qatar was staged to see Lionel Messi's Argentina win the trophy.
Argentina, on their way to winning the World Cup, had knocked Van Gaal's Netherlands out in the quartfinals on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
Van Gaal, who resigned as the Dutch head coach following their World Cup exit, said he thought their game against Argentina was premeditated.
"I do not really want to say much about it," said van Gaal, as translated from a quote by Dutch publication NOS. "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."
Asked to clarify what he meant, he said: "I mean everything I say."
When again asked if he meant the World Cup was staged for Messi to win, Van Gaal replied: "I think so, yes."
Messi celebrated his goal against the Netherlands by running in front of Van Gaal while cupping his hands to his ears, sparking tension between the Dutch coach and the Argentine.
The Argentina captain also approached Van Gaal after the penalty shootout and Messi later said he regretted his actions in the game.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk, who played against Argentina at the World Cup, disagreed with his former manager's comments.
"I heard it this morning, indeed. And that's actually it," he told NOS. "It is of course his opinion. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. I do not share the same opinion."