National coach Louis van Gaal has so far made an excellent impression on Virgil van Dijk.
The captain of Orange, who can play his first international match in almost a year in the World Cup qualifying match with Norway on Wednesday, notices that the group of players is responding well to the arrival of the seventy-year-old Amsterdammer.
"Pff, well: Louis van Gaal", Van Dijk replied with a smile at the Orange press conference on Tuesday, when he was asked how he notices that things are different under national coach Van Gaal than under his predecessors.
"He has a lot of experience and has already had a great career. Van Gaal brings something extra with him and you notice that in the group. It is very much alive and that is good to see. Everyone is sharp and looking forward to it At the end of the day it's about what we show on the pitch, but the conditions to perform look good."
After the departure of Ronald Koeman, who suddenly left for FC Barcelona in the summer of 2020, there were sounds that the group of players would rather not have Van Gaal appointed as successor.
In the end, Frank de Boer was chosen, but he resigned this summer after the disappointing European Championship.
"We have spoken with the KNVB, but we have not mentioned any names," said Van Dijk about Koeman's succession.
"It is therefore not the case that we did not want this national coach (Van Gaal, ed.). We also did not mention De Boer's name. We did say things and the KNVB started working on that."
This is why the qualifier against Norway is crucial for the Orange
Van Dijk can play first international match since October 2020
In his third term as national coach of Orange, Van Gaal can immediately start, because the Orange will meet Norway on Wednesday in the qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup. For Van Dijk it will be a special duel in Oslo, because the defender of Liverpool is in front of the first in almost a year again in the selection of Orange.
Van Dijk, who seriously injured his knee in the autumn of 2020 and had to miss the European Championship, played his last game for the Orange in October last year.
"It was very tough to watch. I was just as disappointed as the boys that we couldn't deliver, but we shouldn't look back."
Van Dijk has already played three Premier League games at Liverpool this season, but the question is whether he can play all matches this international period.
The Netherlands will later play World Cup qualifiers with Montenegro (Saturday) and Turkey (Tuesday).
"If that is not the case, fortunately we have enough good defenders who can replace me," said Van Dijk.
"I'm very happy to be back and the game against Norway will immediately be a very important pot. I'm really looking forward to it."
The match between the Netherlands and Norway starts on Wednesday at 8.45 pm.Keywords: