Louis van Gaal praised the Netherlands' discipline in their 1-0 Nations League victory over Belgium on Sunday despite describing his team as having played "very badly". 

Victory over Poland on Thursday meant the Oranje only needed to avoid a heavy defeat to their neighbours at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam to seal top spot in Group A4 and progress to the Nations League Finals next year.

A result of that nature never looked like materialising, with Virgil van Dijk securing three points for the hosts in the 73rd minute – the centre-back's sixth goal for his country, four of those being headers from a corner.

The result extended Oranje's unbeaten run to 15 games (11 wins, four draws) since Van Gaal was reappointed for the third time in August last year, while it also saw Van Gaal move level with Dick Advocaat as the manager with the most wins in charge of the Netherlands (37). 

"We lost the ball so much and in simple situations," he told NOS. "Just like against Poland, only now even more. 

"That also had to do with Belgium, who put more pressure on the ball, especially in the second half. We certainly didn't play our best game.

"Belgium are very strong in terms of quality. They have a lot of individual quality. [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard; those are top players. The Belgians did very well from the back. They were the better team today.

"I told the players that we played very badly, but we didn't give away many chances. 

"We also had the greatest opportunities, especially at the end. I think [Steven] Bergwijn and [Davy] Klaassen should have scored.

"This is a disciplined victory and that's nice. Although we were second best for 90 minutes, we still continued playing our game and were disciplined."

Marten de Roon replaced the injured Frenkie de Jong in midfield and Van Gaal was pleased with how the Atalanta man contained De Bruyne.

"I thought [De Roon] was one of the better players," he added. "He gave few balls to the opposition and defensively picked up De Bruyne, who walked a little further away from our pit bulls. He did that very well."

One of those "pit bulls", substitute Tyrell Malacia, also received praise from Van Gaal, who said the Manchester United man also did well in shackling De Bruyne.

"I put him on the left of the central defence because De Bruyne played a lot on that side," Van Gaal explained. "It's better to have a pit bull like that instead of someone like [Daley] Blind who tries to solve it tactically. 

"I had already discussed this with him the day before yesterday. The defensive work he did very well."

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal is doubtful that Memphis Depay and Steven Berghuis will be fit enough for Sunday's Nations League Group A4 decider against Belgium.

The Oranje cemented their position as group leaders on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Poland thanks to goals in each half from Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn.

That result means they only need to avoid defeat to Roberto Martinez's side to progress to the Finals next June.

Berghuis replaced the injured Teun Koopmeiners inside the opening five minutes at the PGE Narodowy in Warsaw, but the forward was later withdrawn for Kenneth Taylor, while Depay limped off in the 52nd minute to be replaced by Vincent Janssen.

Van Gaal had good news on Koopmeiners' condition, but the Netherlands boss was not optimistic about Depay and Begrhuis' chances of featuring against the Red Devils.

"I understand that Teun was already feeling a bit better, and I replaced Frenkie [de Jong] as a precaution. He had some tension on the muscles, but he expects to play, and he knows his own body," Van Gaal told NOS. 

"I don't think Memphis will play on Sunday and neither will Berghuis. It's a back injury and that usually lasts longer than a few days."

Gakpo, who was linked with a move to the Premier League during the transfer window, has started the season in fine form for PSV, scoring eight goals in seven Eredivisie games.

The 23-year-old continued his momentum on the international stage as well, stroking home his third goal for his country early on.

He played in a more central role than he is accustomed to at club level, and Van Gaal believes that is where his future might lay.

"I thought that Gakpo performed his duties well both in possession and out of possession," the head coach added.

"It was a good lesson for him and a good development. He wanted to play from the left, but for me, he has everything to become a good 10.

"He scored again, that's also important. It was a world-class goal. I jumped off the bench too. I don't normally do that. It was a top goal."

Louis van Gaal's final pre-World Cup Netherlands squad includes three first-time call-ups, including talented Ajax midfielder Kenneth Taylor.

Seven players have been dropped from the provisional squad announced earlier this month, including Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow.

Gravenberch, 20, has not been called-up by Van Gaal since November 2021 and faces a battle to make the squad for Qatar as he instead takes a spot in the Under-21s along with Brian Brobbey and Jeremie Frimpong.

Jordy Clasie, Pascal Struijk and Joey Veerman are the others to be dropped from the provisional selection.

Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer and 20-year-old midfielder Taylor are included for the first time, as is Heerenveen stopper Andries Noppert.

"We have included a number of new players in the squad. For us, this is the last opportunity to see the boys at work, before we have to announce our World Cup selection," Van Gaal said.

"As I have said before, the preparation time for this World Cup is extremely short, so I have to make good use of all available time. After this training camp, we won't get back together until November 14, a week before we play our first game at the World Cup."

The Netherlands will face Poland on September 22 in Warsaw, then hosting Belgium in Amsterdam three days later as the Nations League group stage comes to a close.

Netherlands squad : Jasper Cillessen (NEC), Mark Flekken (Freiburg), Remko Pasveer (Ajax), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen); Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind, Devyne Rensch, Jurrien Timber (all Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij (both Inter), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Bruno Martins Indi (AZ); Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaassen, Kenneth Taylor (all Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Teun Koopmeiners, Maren de Roon (both Atalanta); Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Royal Antwerp), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas)

Ruud van Nistelrooy revealed he could not have imagined enjoying coaching more than playing but in his first week as PSV Eindhoven boss, insisted the responsibility of match preparation and coaching has "hooked" him.

A decade removed from his last playing stint at Malaga, the 45-year-old confirmed a first senior coaching role with his former club in March, after roles in their youth categories and as assistant for the Netherlands national team.

Taking over from Roger Schmidt, whose side took Ajax to the final day of the Eredivisie season last term, Van Nistelrooy has been given three seasons to supplant the Amsterdam club's domestic dominance in the Netherlands.

In the first week of pre-season, the former Netherlands international asserted he was fully committed to preparing for this first senior role and can now only see himself as a football coach, despite initially different sentiments.

"Never. I could not have imagined it, and if they had told me when I was playing football I wouldn't have believed it," Van Nistelrooy told Marca. "Time passes, and the truth is that I could not imagine a life without football. When I left I began to think about what to do and I wanted to continue to be linked to football.

"It was necessary to see in what area and the reality is that I began to study, to train myself and I noticed that each day that passed, I had more enthusiasm. Then I started working in lower categories, with young players and I really liked that work. That is what has brought me here with such enthusiasm.

"Training is something that hooked me. It is an interesting process that I have lived to get here. Logically, I still have to take many steps, but I am excited about the opportunity that PSV gives me, which is a club in which I played, in which I feel at home, very identified."

Van Nistelrooy had a variety of coaches during his professional playing days and under varied styles, from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, to Fabio Capello, Bernd Schuster and Manuel Pellegrini, playing under the latter at both Real Madrid and Malaga.

The PSV boss asserted he remains deeply rooted in the Dutch way of football, however, and his setup in Eindhoven will ultimately reflect his own interpretation of what he learned under the likes of Louis van Gaal and Guus Hiddink.

"What I could see in my time as a footballer is that there are coaches who had more influence than others in the game and in the team. That's normal," he said. "I've had coaches like Ferguson, Pellegrini or Van Gaal, from whom I think I can take a lot of things. I also really like the school in my country, the Dutch school, that way of understanding football and the game goes a lot with my idea.

"My system is a 4-3-3. I like to play with a six and with two midfielders who go up, with an eight and a 10, let's say. And then two wide wingers. Logically, it all depends on the players you have, on their characteristics. Then you always have to make modifications, adaptations, but my idea of ​​the game is that."

He added, however, that any ambition he has as a senior coach can only exist with success at PSV.

"My head is only at PSV, I just started here," Van Nistelrooy said. "I have trained very well here and I have signed a contract for the next three years.

"The project that both the club and I have in mind is long-term, as long as things go the way we think they will. I want to build something beautiful and important here, with a good project, with young and quality players."

Club Brugge star Noa Lang suggested he is unaware of Milan transfer advances, but would be open to a move "to take the next step" amid reported interest from Arsenal as well.

Lang scored seven goals in 37 Belgian Pro League appearances in the 2021-22 campaign as Brugge lifted their 18th league title in history and third in a row.

The 22-year-old also appeared in all six of Brugge's Champions League outings, though the Belgian side won just one in a tough group with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

Featuring in Europe only served to further the value of Lang, who is said to have long been a target of Arsenal, along with Premier League side Leeds United.

Reports in Italy indicated Serie A winners Milan are also interested in the forward, but he assures no agreement has been reached with Stefano Pioli's side.

"There is no agreement with AC Milan or anything. I don't know where this kind of news comes from," Lang told Belgian newspaper HLN.

"If I have to report to Club Brugge again, I will do so with all my love. I love the club and will give the full 100 per cent."

The Netherlands international expressed his desire to move on from the Belgian Pro League, though, as he looks to impress Louis van Gaal ahead of the World Cup later this year.

"The agreement with Brugge is that it must come to a transfer, both parties agree on that. I want to continue to develop and so I have to take a step," he added.

"But I'm not afraid of that, I have to keep developing myself. If I go to a bigger club, I will probably become a better footballer. Then I train and play with a higher intensity. I only see benefits towards the World Cup.

However, Lang believes the thinking behind Van Gaal's selection has changed, with the Netherlands coach open to picking players who may not always be playing for their club.

"The national coach has abandoned his vision, as he says himself," he continued. 

"But then again: if I go to another club, I also want to play a lot. I have to enforce that myself. Whether it is at the top or just below."

Louis van Gaal was adamant the Netherlands "were entitled to the win" after a late Memphis Depay goal secured a 3-2 victory over Wales.

The hosts looked to be cruising after first-half goals from Noa Lang and Cody Gakpo put them 2-0 up after just 23 minutes.

However, the Dragons appeared to have snatched a point after a Brennan Johnson strike was added to by Gareth Bale's stoppage-time penalty.

Wales were to be left heartbroken, though, as Depay went straight up the other end and scored the winner with a few seconds remaining.

That condemned Wales to their 10th straight defeat against the Dutch, conceding 29 in the process.

It also extended the Oranje's unbeaten streak to 13 games in all competitions as they prepare for the World Cup in Qatar.

Van Gaal, who was left frustrated by some refereeing decisions, felt his team got what they deserved.

"Great that it all turned out like this, I think it's nice to see the way we mentally resisted at 2-2. Although I thought we were entitled to the win. It wasn't a penalty at all for Wales either. I can't believe the referee gave it," Van Gaal told NOS.

 

Turning his attention to the winning goal, which came after a long ball forward straight from kick-off after Bale's penalty, Van Gaal refused to take the credit.

"They had agreed that they were going to do this, I hadn't said anything. It's fantastic that it works out like this," he added.

Depay then applauded the team's mental fortitude as they secured another result against the odds, having come from 2-0 down to draw with Poland and beaten Wales with a stoppage-time winner in their previous two matches.

"It says a lot about the team. We want to win. Once again we showed a great mentality," the Barcelona forward said.

The Netherlands' draw with Poland felt like a defeat for Memphis Depay after he missed a potentially game-winning penalty in second-half stoppage time. 

Poland left Robert Lewandowski on the bench but went ahead in the first half through Matty Cash, and extended their lead via Piotr Zielinski four minutes after the restart at De Kuip.

Goals from Davy Klaassen and Denzel Dumfries restored parity just five minutes later and Cash's handball gave Depay a chance to secure all three points in the Nations League Group A4 game. 

However, the Barcelona attacker's spot-kick hit the post, making him the first Netherlands player to miss three penalties. 

"I missed it and unfortunately that can happen. I had the winner on my foot but I didn't score it," Depay told NOS. 

"I practice penalties and score them often enough. It just has to go in, because then we win the match. Now it feels like a defeat. 

"They sat back, especially in the first half, and then the spaces are small. They also took the lead when they hadn't really had a chance before it and they were then 10 [players] behind the ball. 

"We said at half-time that we had to stay calm. It was a blow [Poland going 2-0 up]. We fought, continue to play football and always believed in ourselves, but it was difficult."

Depay denied that wearing the captain's armband added any pressure after he failed to net the goal he needs to draw level with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in second place on the Netherlands' all-time scoring list.

"I don't think one has to do with the other," he said. "Captain or not, I always want to play well. This time it wasn't the case, but that can happen."

The Netherlands retained their three-point lead at the top of the group because Belgium were held to a 1-1 draw by Wales. 

Louis van Gaal admitted the mood in the dressing room was downcast, but was pleased with the character his team showed to mount a comeback.

"Memphis didn't play his best game. He should've scored the winner at the end. Luckily it's happening now. At the World Cup he will get them in," said Van Gaal.

"The guys sat in the dressing room afterwards as if they had lost, but we came back from 2-0 down. This was the first time we played against a team that was defending with 10 men.

"I'm very proud of my team for the resilience, the spirit and the way we played in the second half."

Louis van Gaal could not help but be impressed with his decision to not substitute Wout Weghorst when he appeared to be injured before scoring Netherlands' winning goal against Wales.

The Oranje claimed a dramatic 2-1 Nations League away win on Wednesday, with both teams scoring in second-half stoppage time.

Teun Koopmeiners had opened the scoring just after the break with a cool finish from the edge of the box.

Rhys Norrington-Davies levelled with a towering header to seemingly snatch a draw for Wales, but Weghorst produced a brilliant diving header a minute later to secure all three points in Cardiff.

The Burnley striker was almost withdrawn a little earlier with an injury, but Van Gaal opted against replacing him with Memphis Depay.

Asked about Depay's seemingly lengthy warm-up on the sidelines, Van Gaal said: "I don't know if Memphis had more warming up than other players. I don't think so.

"It's the structure in our selection; you warm up, sit down, warm up, sit down, so you can change instantly.

"Of course I say here in a moment, 'Okay, Memphis now maybe I shall change [for] Weghorst'. You know the name?

"He had a knock, then had to go out. I thought he was injured, and then he was not injured. And then I have to say, I had Memphis with me, 'If he's fit then I don't change'.

"And you know who makes the winning goal? Weghorst! Yes! And then I think… [pats himself on the back]."

Van Gaal is in his third spell as Netherlands coach and presided over the conclusion of their World Cup qualification campaign, ensuring they reached Qatar 2022 after failing to participate at Russia 2018.

They will face Senegal, Ecuador and hosts Qatar in Group A later this year.

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says Ed Woodward’s departure from Old Trafford could "make the difference" for new boss Erik ten Hag to have success with the Red Devils.

Van Gaal led United from 2014 to 2016, winning the 2016 FA Cup before being sacked two days later with Woodward in charge as the club’s vice-chairman at the time.

The 70-year-old Dutchman has been critical of United in the past for being too commercially focused, rather than being a football club.

Woodward had been at the helm at Old Trafford from 2012 until February this year, with Richard Arnold replacing him in the lead-up to Ten Hag’s appointment as the club’s new manager in April.

Ten Hag, who joined United from Dutch champions Ajax, faces a stern challenge reviving the club who has not won silverware since 2017, but Van Gaal believes change at the top may help his cause.

"There is now a new leadership," Van Gaal told reporters ahead of the Netherlands’ Nations League game with Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"It was Woodward, now it's Richard Arnold, and that can make the difference so we have to wait and see.

"[Ten Hag] has a lot of confidence, so who am I to say something about that?"

Upon his appointment as United boss, Ten Hag had rebuffed Van Gaal’s claims about the club being too interested in commercial affairs.

"I draw my own line and I’m convinced that is not the case," Ten Hag said.

"I spoke to the directors about it and football is one, two, three these days."

Louis van Gaal cannot understand why Steven Bergwijn has been used so sparingly by Tottenham, with the forward again highly influential for the Netherlands on Friday.

Bergwijn made only four Premier League starts this season, restricted to 547 minutes across 25 appearances while scoring three times.

It appears as though this could have been Bergwijn's last campaign at Spurs, given Ajax are said to be looking to bring the Oranje front man back to the Eredivisie.

On his form at international level, it is easy to see why Ajax would be interested.

Bergwijn scored the Netherlands' first goal in a 4-1 win in Belgium in the Nations League, having a hand in six of his side's 15 attempts.

The former PSV man has scored five goals and assisted another for his country since Van Gaal returned as coach last year.

And Bergwijn, along with Frenkie de Jong, was picked out for special praise for their roles in a "collective victory".

"You always have players who can excel in the collective," Van Gaal told NOS. "In this match, it was again Frenkie de Jong and Steven Bergwijn.

"Bergwijn played incredibly well. I don't understand why he never plays at Spurs, that's all I can say. Of course, they have a lot of choice there, but for us he is worth his weight in gold.

"Today he played his best game, and with Frenkie, in Oranje, he is always a hit."

This was the Netherlands' first win against Belgium – the world's second-ranked team – since September 1997, before the first of Van Gaal's three stints as coach.

But he is not getting carried away, explaining: "It may have seemed easy, but it wasn't that easy.

"We deserved to win, we created the most chances, but Belgium also had chances – if the first one goes in, you get a completely different game. We must not forget that.

"We are in a process towards the World Cup. I want to see a lot of players at work in the coming matches. A game against Belgium is the best game to judge players."

Edgar Davids declared he was "proud" to be reunited with Louis van Gaal after being appointed assistant coach of the Netherlands national team.

Dutch great Davids will step into the role immediately and is set to be heavily involved in the lead-up to, and throughout, the World Cup later this year.

The 49-year-old, who was nicknamed 'Pitbull' by Van Gaal when the pair worked together at Ajax in the 1990s, has taken over from Henk Fraser who is leaving to become head coach of FC Utrecht.

Davids said: "I am not only proud but also very enthusiastic that I can continue my career as a coach together with such a renowned coach as Louis van Gaal and that I can work with the absolute best of the Netherlands."

His role will be that of 'second assistant'. Van Gaal's first assistant is another veteran of the great Ajax teams of the 1990s, Danny Blind.

Van Gaal announced in April he had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, and declared that had been a success. He will lead the Netherlands at Qatar 2022 before stepping down to be replaced by Ronald Koeman, and the veteran boss believes Davids can make a positive contribution to the Oranje national team.

The 70-year-old Van Gaal, in his third spell as Netherlands coach, said: "I am delighted that Edgar Davids will join our technical staff.

"After it was clear that Henk Fraser will focus entirely on FC Utrecht from next season, I asked Edgar if he wanted to become my – second – assistant at the Oranje squad.

"Our paths have crossed regularly in the past and I am convinced that he will fill this role in an excellent way. The players can take full advantage of his experience as an international at four international final tournaments, among other things."

Davids has little experience of hands-on coaching, and none at the highest levels of the game, but his playing career was highly successful, taking in stints with the likes of Ajax, Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Inter and Tottenham. His coaching roles have come at Barnet, Telstar and Olhanense.

He won 74 caps for the Netherlands and captained the team 12 times, with tournament experience coming at three European Championships and one World Cup.

Louis van Gaal confirmed he has successfully undergone treatment for prostate cancer following the reveal of his diagnosis.

The Netherlands coach announced he was suffering from the illness on a Dutch television show earlier this month.

The news raised questions over whether Van Gaal would be well enough to lead the Oranje at this year's World Cup, set to take place in Qatar in November and December.

But now the ex-Barcelona and Manchester United boss has revealed he has successfully received a course of action against the cancer.

"I've been through everything," the 70-year-old told Dutch news agency ANP. "I had 25 radiation treatments. Then I had to wait five or six months to see if it had done its job. It did."

Van Gaal will step down after he has led his country at Qatar 2022, with the Oranje boss looking to better his third-place finish in charge at Brazil 2014.

It will bring the curtain down on his third spell at the helm of the national team, with another former boss in Ronald Koeman set to replace him.

Netherlands next face Belgium, Wales and Poland in their UEFA Nations League kick-off in June.

Ronald Koeman will return to his former role as head coach of the Netherlands national team after the 2022 World Cup.

The former Barcelona boss will take over from Louis van Gaal, who revealed recently on Dutch TV show Humberto he has undergone 25 rounds of radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

The 70-year-old has continued to work and did not tell his players of his condition when the Netherlands squad got together in March for friendlies against Denmark and Germany.

However, Van Gaal will remain in charge for the tournament in Qatar, which takes place between November 21 and December 18, with Koeman resuming the role he left in 2020 after that.

The news was confirmed by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) on Wednesday.

"I am looking forward to the new collaboration," Koeman said. "A little over a year and a half ago, I certainly did not leave the Dutch national team out of dissatisfaction. 

"My stay felt good, the results were good and the connection with the players was good. We will soon continue on that path, that is certain to me."

Marianne van Leeuwen, director of professional football for the KNVB, said: "We are very happy that Ronald will return next year. During his previous term as national coach, there was great satisfaction with his work and the results.

"That is why, after internal deliberations, together with director of top-level football Nico-Jan Hoogma, I entered into discussions with Ronald and his agent Rob Jansen."

Koeman previously spent just over two years as national team coach between 2018 and 2020, guiding the Netherlands to the final of the 2018-19 Nations League, before leaving for Barca in August 2020.

The Netherlands will face hosts Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador in Group A at the World Cup following Friday's draw.

Virgil van Dijk insists he is "just enjoying the moment" ahead of a run of games that could define Liverpool's season.

The Reds remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple, having already won the EFL Cup, as they are into the last four of the FA Cup, the last eight of the Champions League and just a point behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

Ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg away at Benfica on Tuesday, Van Dijk told reporters he is calm about the upcoming period, and is pleased that Liverpool currently have a full squad to use across the three remaining competitions.

"If you would say at the start of the season that you will still be in all competitions by this time of the year, also having a full squad, which last season wasn't really the case, we would have taken it easily," he said.

"I'm just enjoying the moment. We all as footballers want to play games – it asks a lot physically from us, but I'm just going for it and enjoying every moment."

Van Dijk missed most of last season with a knee injury, but has been a near ever-present since his return for Jurgen Klopp's men, making 39 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign, with 24 clean sheets to his name. 

Liverpool have conceded just three goals in their last 13 games in all competitions, and the 30-year-old was asked if he feels the defensive side of their game sometimes goes unnoticed.

"I must say, before the [January] international break, I did care a little bit," he said. "I think I said it in [another] interview, I felt a bit taken for granted, coming back from a long-term injury, that everything was normal, everyone expected the same [level of performance], and it's quite difficult.

"But after the break, I really didn't. Maybe that helped also the performances, but at the moment we're just doing it together. Everyone is playing their part, everyone is involved, the back four plus Alisson changes at times as well. If you look at the [EFL] cup final, with Caoimhin [Kelleher] coming in, the hero in the cup competitions.

"Kostas [Tsimikas] coming in, Joe [Gomez] coming in now as well, everyone is getting involved in the success we have as a defensive unit, but the way we defend is we do it all together, and everyone feels responsibility for that as well."

Questions have been asked of Liverpool's high line in recent weeks, despite the impressive defensive record, and Van Dijk was keen to question why, believing people are forgetting to discount opportunities against them that would have been given offside had a goal been scored.

"It's now being highlighted, but I think if you look back at the last couple of seasons we always try to play with a high line," he said.

"This season, and last season I think, we started with the rule that [we] keep playing on, and then the linesman puts the flag up. It looks like we are conceding chances against us.

"Even the other day [against Watford] when Ali had to make the save, it looked like we are vulnerable when he is offside, so I think that rule first of all has to get out of the way, but the other thing is the high line, we don't speak about it a lot but on the pitch you definitely have to communicate and I'm always trying to do that."

No team has caught opposition players offside in the Premier League as often this season, with Opta stats showing the Reds have successfully caught players offside on 124 occasions, well ahead of City (76), Wolves (70), Leicester City (62) and Brentford (59).

The Netherlands captain also had words of encouragement for his national team boss Louis van Gaal, who revealed on Dutch TV on Sunday he is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

"I was in shock last night when I heard his interview, because obviously he is getting his film out next week so I was just wondering how he would promote it and speak about his life, and then obviously this was a big shock," he added.

"I messaged him after the interview, but it definitely says a lot about him [as a person]... He's not the type of guy that needs a lot of sympathy, that's how he is, but I told him we are definitely going to be there for him as a group whenever needed, and also we can also hopefully make it for him a World Cup to never forget."

Manchester United and Barcelona sent messages of support to Louis van Gaal after the Netherlands coach revealed he is fighting prostate cancer.

Dutch veteran Van Gaal is a former boss at Old Trafford and Camp Nou, and both clubs wished him well after Sunday's announcement.

It was revealed by Van Gaal on Dutch TV show Humberto that he has undergone 25 rounds of radiation treatment.

The 70-year-old has continued to work and did not tell his players of his condition when the Netherlands squad got together in March for friendlies against Denmark and Germany.

Van Gaal had two spells as Barcelona head coach and won LaLiga titles in 1998 and 1999, while he guided United to the FA Cup in 2016 at the end of a two-year stint in England.

Barcelona said: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to former Barca manager Louis van Gaal, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stay strong, Louis, and get well soon."

United sent their best wishes, stating: "Everybody at Manchester United is fully behind our former manager, Louis van Gaal, in his battle against cancer. Sending you strength and courage, Louis "

Former England striker Gary Lineker, who played for Barcelona in the 1980s, wrote on Twitter: "Sending best wishes and hopes for a full recovery to Louis Van Gaal, who announced on Dutch television tonight that he's battling prostate cancer."

Van Gaal, a Champions League winner with Ajax in 1995, is due to lead the Netherlands at the World Cup later this year.

He took charge of the national team for a third time after coming out of retirement last August.

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