Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal has played down his row with Angel di Maria after the Argentina star labelled him the worst manager he has ever worked under.
Le Oranje take on Argentina in the thrilling quarter-final on Friday where van Gaal and di Maria will cross paths again following their acrimonious time together at .
With van Gaal at the helm, United signed di Maria in a £60million deal from in 2014. Despite a bright start in Manchester, the midfielder was sold to Paris Saint-Germain a year later.
Di Maria told TyC Sports in 2021: “My problem at Manchester was the coach.
‘Van Gaal was the worst of my career. I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes.
‘He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him.’
Van Gaal was quizzed on di Maria’s comments at a press conference on Thursday, sat alongside Memphis Depay ahead of their clash with La Albiceleste.
‘He’s one of the few players with this opinion,’ van Gaal said of di Maria. ‘I’m really sorry about this and I find it sad he said this.
‘Memphis had to deal with it too at Manchester, and now we kiss each other on the mouth.’
Depay, who also played under van Gaal at Old Trafford, was left in hysterics by this manager’s comments.
The 71-year-old manager has been in an affectionate mood with his squad during the World Cup in Qatar, thanking Denzel Dumfries with a ‘big fat kiss’ after the Inter Milan wing-back scored and provided two assists in the 3-1 in over USA.
Netherlands turned in their best display of the competition in that last 16 victory last Saturday, with Depay, Dumfries and Daley Blind on the score sheet.
Argentina meanwhile saw off Australia with goals from Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez in a 2-1 win but were given a late scare with Lisandro Martinez making a goal-saving challenge in injury time to maintain their lead.
The winners will take on Brazil or Croatia in a semi-final clash next week.
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