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Louis van Gaal works magic with Holland

Posted July. 09, 2014 01:37,   


“He’s a genius,” said a Brazilian reporter shook his head.

At the Mineirao stadium of Belo Horizonte in Brazil on Tuesday, local reporters were paying attention to one person. He was neither German forward Thomas Muller, nor Argentina captain Lionel Messi or Dutch forward Arjen Robben who the Brazilian team might face in the final. A reporter said, “The Dutch team is something that other teams want to avoid. It’s because of the team’s coach Louis van Gaal.”

Van Gaal is in the center of attention in this World Cup. Of course, Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Germany’s Joachim Low and Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella made their team advance to the quarter final, but some matches made people skeptical about their ability. On the contrary, van Gaal showed a brilliant strategy in each game.

He used a 3-5-2 system unexpectedly in the first round of the tournament, and the Netherlands defeated Spain 5 to 1. In the second tournament, it tied 0 to 0 with Australia at the end of the first half, but van Gaal replaced defenders with strikers to beat Australia 3 to 2. In the third tournament, the Netherlands also defeated Chile 2 to 0 after players who were replaced in the second half scored goals.

Van Gaal’s tactics were much more remarkable in each tournament. His team made it into the round of 8 after a come-from-behind victory against Mexico. He changed the system in the second half of the game and used different tactics. The match against Costa Rica was notable. The Dutch squad had a tie in an extra time and replaced the goalkeeper before a shootout after extra time, which he prepared it three weeks ago. As Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul blocked two goals in the shootout, the Netherlands advanced to the quarterfinal.

The Dutch coach may be preparing for another magic in the run-up to the quarterfinal match against Argentina on Thursday. A Brazilian reporter said it is unfavorable to Argentina, saying, “Argentina is fighting against 12 players, not 11.”