Following the Netherlands’ dramatic World Cup quarterfinal loss to Argentina, Louis van Gaal has announced that he will step down as manager of the Dutch team.
The 71-year-old insisted before the finals that this competition would be his last while managing the Oranje, who he did so three times.
After Friday’s thrilling match at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, he supported this statement, ending his third tenure technically unbeaten.
“First and foremost I won’t be continuing,” Van Gaal said. “I only did it for this period of time. This was my very last match of my third term as head coach.
“In that time I coached 20 matches [winning 14, drawing six] and we didn’t lose a single one. I don’t know how many matches we won, but you can Google ‘Louis van Gaal, Dutch team’ and see the goal difference for yourself.”
What might have been Van Gaal’s final game will be remembered as one of the most exciting World Cup games ever.
Lionel Messi played a significant role in Argentina’s 2-0 victory. He first set up Nahuel Molina’s goal with a brilliant no-look pass before converting a penalty.
But Van Gaal gave La Albiceleste everything he had. To try to reenter the tie, he added target players Luuk de Jong and Wout Weghorst.
After 83 minutes, Weghorst scored with a thunderous header, and at the very end of the ten minutes of stoppage time, he pounced once more after a deft free-kick routine with Teun Koopmeiners.
The Oranje lost on penalties, just as they did in the 2014 semifinals, and Emiliano Martinez made two outstanding saves as the spirited match—which resulted in 17 yellow cards, including three both after the final whistle and during the shootout—came to a close.