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Van Gaal saddened by Di Maria criticism but healed similar rift with Depay: ´Now we kiss!´

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Dec 2022

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Louis van Gaal entertained the media in Doha on Thursday as he responded to criticism from Angel Di Maria by showing his close bond with Memphis Depay, another of his former Manchester United players.

Netherlands coach Van Gaal signed Di Maria at United, but the Argentina international struggled to settle in the Premier League.

The winger, who hopes to face Van Gaal’s Oranje at the World Cup on Friday, subsequently described the ex-United manager as “the worst coach of my career”.

Van Gaal was offered a reminder of this comment at his pre-match news conference, but he was in jovial mood as he responded sat next to Depay.

“Angel Di Maria is simply a really good football player,” Van Gaal said to an increasingly amused press room.

“At the time when he played for Manchester, he had a lot of personal issues, there was a break-in at his house. That also affected his fitness that year.

“The fact he would refer to me as the worst trainer, that is one of the very few players that ever said that. Usually it is the other way around.

“So, I think that is sad. I don’t like that Angel said that on one occasion. It is a pity, but that’s just the way it is.

“A head coach sometimes needs to take decisions that don’t always end well. There’s someone next to me here, Memphis Depay, and the same happened to him.

“Memphis also played for Manchester, and now we kiss each other, mouth-to-mouth. No, we’re not going to do that now.

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