Messi led Argentina to victory in the World Cup, defeating the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
However, Van Gaal, who was the coach of the Netherlands at the time, believes that the tournament was manipulated to ensure Messi’s victory.
It’s important to note that there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, and it is likely to be met with skepticism in the footballing world.
When requested to consider the World Cup in Qatar, he told Dutch outlet NOS:
“I don’t really want to say much about it. When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it all premeditated game.”
On Tuesday, Van Gaal gave a speech at the Eredivisie Awards, where he was honored for his work with Dutch football.
After the source asked the 72-year-old to explain what he implied, the previous supervisor said:
“I mean everything I say. That Messi should become world champion? I think so, yes.”
Nahuel Molina provided Argentina with the lead in the quarter-finals, scoring after receiving a magnificent diagonal pass from Messi. Later, Messi himself doubled their advantage from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
Dutch substitute Wout Weghorst then orchestrated a thrilling comeback with two late goals, equalizing in the 11th minute of added time to keep the Netherlands in the tournament.
The quarter-final clash witnessed an astonishing 16 yellow cards distributed to players from both teams. Additionally, Netherlands right-back Denzel Dumfries received a red card deep into extra time.
Argentina managed to avoid any sending-offs in the midst of this tempestuous encounter, despite eight of their players receiving yellow cards.