Louis van Gaal reveals The Netherlands is facing a major World Cup panic ahead of its last-16 clash against the USA on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022.
That’s after Louis van Gaal revealed his concern at a potential VIRUS tearing its way through his squad.
The Netherlands’ World Cup team is dealing with an outbreak of ‘flu symptoms’ ahead of Saturday’s round-of-16 matchup with Team USA in Qatar, and manager Louis van Gaal is concerned.
The 71-year-old van Gaal did not elaborate too much but did confirm that star midfielder Frenkie de Jong is among the players battling illness right now.
Despite his concerns, van Gaal explained that ‘there are not 15 or so’ cases, so, ‘in principle, everyone is fit and available.’
Curiously, the country did not do any 11-on-11 drills at practice, but van Gaal attributed that to rest, and not an illness.
The former Manchester United boss delivered the grim news just a day before his side’s crunch clash against Christian Pulisic and Co.
Dutch media claim many players are suffering from coughs, sore throats, and runny noses.
And despite it being labeled everything from a virus to just a cold, Van Gaal told reporters on Friday: “If this goes around in the group, then it is worrying.”
Frenkie de Jong confessed to feeling under the weather shortly before Holland’s draw with Ecuador last week.
It’s believed the air conditioners, cooling people down from the 30C Qatar heat, could be blame for the ill-health.
Man United and Brazil star Antony slammed the constant cold blast for giving him a “cough and bad throat.”
There is no shortage of ties between the American and Dutch squads, including Team USA manager Gregg Berhalter, who played professionally in Holland.
Berhalter said on Friday that he felt like a student when he signed with the Dutch club Zwolle 28 years ago, but now plans to apply the lessons he learned when the teams face off on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022.
Berhalter 49, will match tactics against van Gaal, the oldest coach in the World Cup. Van Gaal guided the Dutch to third place in the 2014 tournament and has won seven league titles with Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich.
That success means little to Oranje’s demanding fanbase.
A losing finalist in 1974, 1978, and 2010, Holland began this tournament with a 2-0 win over Senegal, tied Ecuador 1-1, and beat Qatar 2-0 to top Group A.
The US has played Holland five times, all friendlies, the Americans lost four before rallying late for a 4-3 win in 2015. They have not reached the quarterfinals since 2002, losing the round of 16 games in extra time to Ghana in 2010 and Belgium in 2014.
Van Gaal’s squad has been battling the flu, much like the Americans last week. The US opened its campaign in Qatar with draws against Wales and England, then beat Iran 1-0, a goal scored by Christian Pulisic, who bruised his pelvis but hopes to play on Saturday.