I will give you a big fat hug: Netherlands manager Van Gaal reacts as young journalist expresses admiration for coach

Netherlands coach also confirmed that his side has kept the political issues aside after inviting migrants to the training session.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 24 November 2022 10:41 PM

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Louis van Gaal's side kick started its FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign on high as they beat Senegal 2-0 on Monday, courtesy of late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen following mistakes from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. 

While the Netherlands are all set to take on Ecuador on Friday in their second fixture of the elite competition, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal had a terrific interaction with a young journalist who claimed to be his die-heart fan.

On the eve of the Netherlands vs Ecuador match, Van Gaal was addressing a media gathering when he was interrupted by a journalist who declared that he was a "fan" of the 71-year-old former Manchester United manager even though he had no questions about the Dutch coach. 

"I am a young journalist who just started. I have no question for you, just an opportunity to tell how I have been a fan of yours since childhood, even if you did give us our first defeat in this tournament," the journalist said. The comment from a journalist impressed the Netherlands coach as the requested for a hug. "Oh, can I hug you?" said Van Gaal. 

"I will give you a big fat hug later on because I think it is great that you said this, really; honestly, people don't often say these things to me; I am going to give you a big fat hug," Van Gaal said.  True to his word, Van Gaal came down from the podium, greeted the young man, and embraced him as Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries applauded, and a crowd gathered to grab a picture of the moment. 

Meanwhile, Netherlands coaches also confirmed that his side has kept the political issues aside after inviting migrants to the training session. Notably, Gaal was asked if his team plans to replicate German's apparent pre-match protest against Japan, given that they, too, have been restricted from wearing the OneLove armband. "No. We put an end to the political issues after we already invited the migrant workers," Gaal said. 

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