The former Manchester United manager returned to the national team for a third spell in charge in 2021, guiding the team to Qatar where they were eliminated at the quarter-final stage to eventual winners Argentina.
La Albiceleste looked to be cruising into the last four until Wout Weghorst struck twice late on. Argentina went onto win 4-3 in penalties in a game which was littered with flashpoints, with 18 yellow cards handed out and Denzel Dumfries sent off.
Argentina cruised past Croatia in the semis beating seeing off France in an unforgettable final, again on penalties.
Van Gaal, who stepped down from his role and officially retired at 67 in March, has since made some remarkable claims about Argentina’s victory, insisting it was ‘premeditated’ to ensure Lionel Messi got to lift the famous trophy.
‘I don’t really want to say much about it,’ van Gaal told NOS.
‘When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it all premeditated game.’
Asked to clarify his comments, he added: ‘I mean everything I say.
‘That Messi should become world champion? I think so, yes.’
Netherlands take on Greece and Republic of Ireland in European Championship qualifiers during September’s international break with van Dijk, one of the players who missed a spot-kick in that quarter-final, quizzed on van Gaal’s comments.
‘I heard it this morning, indeed. He can say what he wants. It is of course his opinion. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion,’ he said.
‘But I do not agree with him and I do not share the same opinion.’
Asked again if he and the rest of the Dutch squad agrees with their former manager, the Liverpool centre-half said: ‘No’.
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