When Louis van Gaal was asked before the first game of the Dutch national soccer team in Qatar how the ban on the One Love captain’s armband was going to be dealt with, his reaction was harsh at best. He no longer commented on this, explained the bonds coach, from now on only sport counts for him. end of announcement.
When Hansi Flick was asked before the German national team’s first game in Qatar how the ban on the One Love captain’s armband was going to be dealt with, Flick smiled smugly. He had expected the question, replied the national coach – and then commented in detail.
The small incident from the beginning of the World Cup in Qatar tells a lot: about the Germans and their coach, who somehow got bogged down in this tournament. But also about the Netherlands and their coach van Gaal, for whom only one thing counted from the first whistle: to do everything to ensure that his impressive career ended with the greatest of all titles.
“I want to be world champion,” says van Gaal, now 71 years old, at every opportunity. That may sound presumptuous for a country that failed to even qualify for two of the last four major tournaments. But that van Gaal has a clear goal in mind, that’s exactly what you can see now. The World as Will and Representation.
I want to be world champion.
Louis van Gaal, Bonds coach of the Dutch national team
Now that the World Cup is entering its decisive phase, the Germans are long back home – and the Dutch are still in the middle of the action after beating the USA in the round of 16. Of course, that also has something to do with the coach. Or with the trainers.
The whole appearance of the Dutch in Qatar is characterized by a captivating clarity. While Hansi Flick was chasing an ideal, van Gaal clearly identified the deficits in his squad and developed an idea of how these deficits can best be covered. He did that successfully at the World Cup eight years ago, when he prescribed total defense for Elftal instead of total football and at least made it into the semi-finals in this way.
For many of his compatriots, this is still an immense impertinence, because their sense of footballing superiority was primarily based on aesthetics. But Van Gaal put success before beauty. Play well and fail: that used to be a Dutch specialty. The Germans are now better at it.
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