Van Gaal proud, critical of Oranje after late win in Wales; De Jong is “worth €112 million”
Dutch men’s national football manager Louis van Gaal spoke to the press after the team’s 1-2 victory in Cardiff against Wales on Wednesday night. When asked what he would take away from the match Van Gaal was clear. "I've learned how certain players behave in the Netherlands team, when they have to play for real. Which was the goal at the start."
Van Gaal was slightly critical of his side's performance. "In the first half, we unnecessarily lost the ball too many times. You can't attack that way, even though we wanted to."
Van Gaal praised FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and said that he is worth the hefty 112 million euro price tag is reportedly asking for him. De Jong has been linked to Manchester United, which formerly employed Van Gaal, in recent weeks."De Jong brings an extra quality. That is why he is worth €112 million."
Captain Stefan de Vrij agreed with Van Gaal's criticism of the team but did praise the mentality of the Oranje players. "We know that there is plenty to improve. In the first half, we were very sloppy, especially in possession. After half time, we had more control. But even after the equalizer, we kept going. They wanted to push on, too, maybe they thought we weren't going to stand up, but we did.
Opposing manager Rob Page was left disappointed with the loss. "I'm disappointed we didn't get at least a draw. We showed a little naivety in seeing the game out. But I can't fault the players' effort; I'm proud of the level of performance against a good Dutch side."
The two teams meet again next Tuesday in De Kuip in Rotterdam. The Netherlands will play Poland at home in between, with Wales hosting Belgium in Cardiff.