Van Gaal makes an odd claim about the Netherlands’ squad numbers.

  • Van Gaal bizarrely claims he’ picked Netherlands’ squad numbers based on age.

Van Gaal makes an odd claim about the Netherlands' squad numbers.
Van Gaal makes an odd claim about the Netherlands’ squad numbers.

Netherlands national team coach Louis van Gaal has claimed that he handed out squad numbers to his players based on age.

The head coach of the Netherlands has stated that the age of his players in the team, rather than personal preference, is the primary factor in his selection of squad numbers for his 26-man World Cup squad.

The 71-year-old manager has further emphasized that the statistics offer no indications as to would start for him.

Van Gaal has in a press conference: “I gave the players a number that fits their age.” With his response being taken in jest by reporters in attendance, the Dutch coach elaborated on his answer.


”That’ no joke. I never tell jokes at a press conference, I explain how I did that,” he added. ”That [choice of squad numbers] has to do with age, that’ why I give that answer.”

Some big takeaways from the assigned squad numbers given to the Netherlands team include Luuk de Jong surprisingly being handed the No. 9 shirt, Memphis Depay being given the No. 10, and Virgil van Dijk donning his usual No.4 number.

The two newcomers into the side – Jeremie Frimpong and Xavi Simons – have been given the numbers 25 and 26 respectively. Goalkeeper Remko Pasveer has been handed the No. 1 shirt, but van Gaal has it does not mean the Ajax man will start in goal ahead of Justin Bijlow and Andries Noppert.

Tuesday saw the arrival of the Dutch national team in Qatar, and on Wednesday morning, van Gaal led the team’ first training. They will begin their World Cup campaign on Monday when they face Senegal in their opening Group A match at the Al Thumama Stadium.

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