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"Memphis had to deal with it too, and now we kiss each other on the mouth." - van Gaal reacts to Di Maria calling him his worst manager

December 8th 2022, 4:35:20 pm

Speaking ahead of the Netherlands crunch World Cup quarterfinal tie against Argentina, Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal has reacted to claims that he was Di Marias worst manager ever.

Louis van Gaal and Memphis Depay are on the best terms now unlike at Manchester United (Matthias Koch)

Speaking to journalists ahead of his country's quarterfinal against Argentina, head coach Louis Van Gaal has addressed Angel Di Maria's claim that he is the Argentine forward's worst manager ever by saying that he feels sad and that he is sorry that Di Maria feels that way.

Di Maria and van Gaal shared an unhappy time at Manchester United that was sour for both player and manager as neither truly stamped their authority at the club.

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Di Maria stayed for only one season following a mega £59.7 million deal at the time and has since cited van Gaal as one of the reasons why the move did not work out well for him.

This became an issue again since Di Maria's Argentina is set to face van Gaal's Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinal, on Friday, but when asked about Di Maria's statements, the Netherlands' head coach would not be drawn into a war of words with his former player on the matter.

Instead, he said that he was "very sorry that Angel Di María once said that [he was] the worst coach he has ever had." He also said that he believes that Di Maria was one of the very few players with that opinion, but that he still felt sad about it regardless.

AFP/AFP

He offered a sort of explanation for his actions toward Di Maria while they were at Manchester United by referencing another former Manchester United player, Memphis Depay, who is now a mainstay in his Netherlands team.

He said, “Here next to me sits Memphis [Depay]. He was also at Manchester [United], and now we kiss on the mouth.” before leaning in for a kiss, which Depay declined by wagging his finger as the room exploded in laughter.

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"That kiss on the mouth... he [Memphis] doesn't want it, but this is fine; that's how it goes in football," Van Gaal continued.

“People are laughing now, but I also passed Memphis for the [FA Cup] final. That’s not fun, but believe me, a trainer doesn’t do that without a reason."

"Maybe it was the wrong decision [then]. [but] look how we treat each other now."

AFP/AFP

There is clearly no ill feeling toward Di Maria from van Gaal, but they will certainly not be friends when they meet on the pitch to battle it out for a place in the World Cup semifinal on Friday in what is expected to be another epic encounter.

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