The 70-year-old Dutch tactician sustained a hip injury from the accident and was taken to the hospital for medical attention on Sunday. He was allowed to join up with the team hours after in preparation for Norway’s visit.
Despite the hip injury, Louis van Gaal guided the Dutch team during Monday morning training. But he had to sit on a golf cart throughout the training session.
🇳🇱 Louis van Gaal arrived in a golf buggy and watched the Netherlands training session from his buggy after he fell off his bike yesterday pic.twitter.com/xuIGIbiwVZ— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 15, 2021
Later that day, he was not able to make it to the pre-match press conference of the qualification match. He however managed to speak to reporters via a video link.
In the video, the Dutch coach who has managed Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Ajax was seen seated in a wheelchair.
While addressing reporters at the press conference, Louis van Gaal told reporters that he was in a lot of physical pain but mentally fit enough to handle the qualification match.
“Physically I’m not good, but the brain is still working. I’m in a lot of pain, that’s why I was in a buggy during training,” Van Gaal said.
“I can still do everything and have done all the preparation that I normally would have.”
In the same vein, the captain of the Netherlands national team, Virgil van Dijk told reporters at the press conference that the coach’s accident has not affected the team’s preparation for the game against Norway.
“We are happy that he can lead us and it hasn’t impacted much in terms of the preparation”, the Liverpool defender said. “This morning he chaired an important meeting and still guides us. Van Gaal is still keen to make it to the World Cup.”
The fate of Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands
Louis van Gaal's wheelchair couldn't fit through the door so he attends the press conference through a livestream.— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) November 15, 2021
He started explaining his injury which not many people understood… Van Dijk's face… 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/gdeHQlflaU
Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands are currently the leaders of Group G. They are topping the table with 20 points in 9 games, 2 points above second and third-placed Turkey and Norway.
For them to grab an automatic World Cup ticket without having to wait until March for playoffs, the Netherlands must draw or beat Norway tonight, at 20:45.
However, if Norway manage to find a way to beat the Dutch team, they would go top with 21 points in 10 games, a point above the Netherlands.
On the other hand, Turkey are also very much in contention for the automatic ticket. If Turkey beat Montenegro at 20:45 tonight, November 16, and the Netherlands win Norway, Turkey will go to the playoffs while the Netherlands will grab the automatic ticket to Qatar 2022 World Cup.
However, if Norway win the Netherlands and Turkey beat Montenegro later tonight, Turkey could win the group with superior goals difference while Norway go to the playoffs ahead of the Dutch side.