USA

Netherlands coach Van Gaal kisses a journalist at the World Cup


Doha, Qatar — Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal was taken by surprise during a World Cup press conference on Thursday when a Senegalese journalist told the Dutchman he was a long-time fan.

“I have no questions for you. This is just the opportunity to tell you that I have been a fan for 3 years, ”said Papa Mahmoud Gueye. “I love you.”

The 71-year-old Van Gaal, sometimes seen as a stern-faced, taciturn and stubborn figure in football, grinned before answering.

“I’m going to give you a big hug after this, because I love you saying this and I mean it seriously,” Van Gaal said through an interpreter. “Because people don’t often tell me that. So we’ll have a big hug afterwards.

Van Gaal kept his word, stepping off the stage and waving the reporter to join him in a warm embrace.

Gueye, 28, works for the Senegalese publication Taggat.sn.

Gueye told The Associated Press it was an honor to share such a touching moment with Van Gaal, a legendary and highly innovative manager who led teams like Ajax, Barcelona and Manchester United.

“He is one of the greatest figures in , said Gueye. He was also happy to see that there were people who liked him, and he said to me, ‘Let’s give ourselves a hug’.”

Gueye said Van Gaal had acquired an unfair reputation as a grump over the years.

“That’s not really the case. From a distance, people usually think he’s uncool,” Gueye said. “But he’s a smiling character and he laughs with everyone. And he’s one of the best coaches in the world.”

The Netherlands beat Senegal 2-0 on Monday.

———

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports



ABC News

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button