Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool was enraged after reports in the media claimed he was the driving force behind the Netherlands squad’s protest against the proposed return of manager Louis van Gaal.
The Mirror sparked controversy by alleging that Van Dijk had been fighting the appointment, making a scene alongside Wijnaldum in an attempt to stymie Van Gaal’s move.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) July 17, 2021
The story reached Van Dijk, and the Liverpool man was unimpressed. The drama lasted a little more than an hour, but social media is still having a good laugh about it now.
Van Gaal was adamant that he had retired after leaving Manchester United in 2016, but he has since changed his tune and left the door open for a return to his homeland.
“I have been in contact with [Van Gaal],” NOS journalist Arno Vermeulen said in 2020. “He says ‘If they approach me, I will seriously think about it’. Actually, he opens the door and is one of the candidates to become national coach.”
He had been tipped to succeed Ronald Koeman after the latter’s move to Barcelona last year, and the rumours have returned following De Boer’s departure this time.
Van Gaal has had two stints with the Dutch national team. He struggled from 2000 to 2002, failing to qualify for the World Cup, but led the Oranje to third place in the 2014 World Cup in his second stint in charge.