News Matches
Netherlands

'I saw a couple of naked players' - Van Gaal's awkward World Cup squad FaceTime calls revealed

14:07 GMT 11/11/2022
Louis van Gaal Netherlands
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal says got more than he bargained for when he called his players to tell them their World Cup fate.
  • Van Gaal announced squad on Friday
  • Coach had video calls with players
  • Some stars were naked when they spoke

WHAT HAPPENED? On Friday, Van Gaal revealed the Dutch squad that will travel to Qatar to compete in the tournament. While the players who made the cut will be delighted by the news, Van Gaal had to have some difficult and awkward conversations with those he left out of the group.

WHAT THEY SAID: "It's not easy to give players the message that they didn't make the squad," Van Gaal said at a press conference. "I spent one hour and 45 minutes in total to explain my decisions to the players via FaceTime. That was not an easy task, I'll tell you that. I also had to take into account that some of the guys play in England. There's obviously the one-hour time difference. I saw a couple of naked players because they were still in bed or had only just gotten up."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Van Gaal left some big names out of the Oranje squad ahead of the tournament. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was a notable absentee, while Donny van de Beek, Ryan Gravenberch and Sven Botman were also omitted. Georginio Wijnaldum is missing from the squad because of a leg injury.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR NETHERLANDS? Van Gaal's men start their World Cup campaign with a match against Senegal on November 21.