Holland boss Louis van Gaal risks riling up Argentina AND Brazil

Holland boss Louis van Gaal risks riling up Argentina AND Brazil on their side of the World Cup draw, saying Tite’s side aren’t ‘sparkling’ and are ‘just a counter team’ – and suggesting Lionel Messi could be a WEAK LINK!

  • Louis van Gaal’s Holland side will face Argentina on Friday in the quarter-finals
  • Dutchman – never one to hide his true feelings – doubted the South Americans
  • Said that Brazil are merely a counter-attacking team and did not impress
  • Lionel Messi could prove to be a weak link for Argentina Van Gaal also claimed
  • Follow Sportsmail’s daily World Cup live blog for all updates from Qatar

Louis van Gaal, one of football’s most outspoken characters, has gone against the grain and doubted the capabilities of World Cup favourites Argentina and Brazil.

Holland meet Argentina this Friday bidding to reach the semi-finals for the second time under Van Gaal – the first when they lost to Lionel Messi’s side in 2014.

Risking enraging his opponents in the quarter-finals, Van Gaal praised Messi, but said that he could also prove to be a weak link for the two-time winners. 

Louis van Gaal risked the ire of the two South American giants with his comments on Tuesday 

‘He is indeed the most dangerous player who creates the most chances and also makes them himself,’ he told NOS (via Voetbal Zone). 

‘But on the other hand he does not play much with the opponent when he has possession of the ball. That is also where our chances lie.’

Having watched Brazil eviscerate South Korea on Monday night in a performance many are labelling the best of the tournament thus far, Van Gaal again risked enraging an entire country with his rather contrarian beliefs on their play.  

Holland progressed to the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup with a 3-1 win over the USA

‘I’ve seen them, that’s just a counter team,’ the former Ajax and Manchester United boss said. 

‘I read in the Dutch media that it was sparkling, but that is just a counter team. South Korea has only attacked.’

Meanwhile, Holland’s quarter-final clash risks reigniting one of the great World Cup rivalries – with Argentina having largely had the upper hand over the Dutch in years gone by. 

Van Gaal said Lionel Messi is Argentina’s most creative player – but that he offers them little without the ball

Argentina won their maiden crown in 1978 by beating Holland, ensuring their players the anguish of losing back-to-back finals. 

While Van Gaal himself was personally burnt in 2014 when he watched his side go out on penalties to Argentina in Sao Paulo. 

Most modern football figures might have been expected to downplay the relevance of 2014, but not Van Gaal, who said his side have a score to settle.

While the world fawned over Brazil he said they were merely a counter-attacking team with South Korea playing into their hands on Monday

‘We still have a score to settle,’ he said. ‘I don’t like to think about it because I thought we would win and then I also exchanged for the win. 

‘I would like to convince the people at home to just go and watch the game and cheer for us. Then we will derive a lot of support from that.’

The Dutchman, likely undertaking his final job in management having started his career in the early 1990s, has battled cancer and is now bidding to win Holland their maiden World Cup triumph.  

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