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‘I’m in a lot of pain’: Van Gaal has bike crash before vital Netherlands qualifier | Netherlands


Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal suffered a hip injury when he fell off his bicycle on Sunday but will be able to coach his team in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Norway in Rotterdam.

Van Gaal, who was cycling near the team hotel when he fell and was taken to hospital for tests, used a golf cart to conduct Monday’s training session before the Group G decider, where the Dutch need a draw to seal a place at next year’s finals in Qatar.

The 70-year-old was unable to attend Monday’s pre-match press conference in person but made an appearance via video link, sitting in a wheelchair. “Physically I’m not good, but the brain is still working,” Van Gaal told reporters. “I’m in a lot of pain, that’s why I was in a buggy during training. I can still do everything and have done all the preparation that I normally would have.”

The Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk, who did appear at the press conference, said the incident was “definitely a shock”.

“We are happy that he can lead us and it hasn’t impacted much in terms of the preparation. This morning he chaired an important meeting and still guides us,” he said. “Van Gaal is still keen to make it to the World Cup.”

Van Gaal said that he would be on the bench on Tuesday and expected the Dutch to win the game and secure top spot in their group. They could have qualified last Saturday at Montenegro but gave up two late goals and were held 2-2 in a surprise result.

Louis van Gaal appears on a video link alongside Virgil Van Dijk.
Louis van Gaal appears on a video link alongside Virgil Van Dijk. Photograph: Koen van Weel/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

When Van Gaal was coach of AZ Alkmaar in 2007, he broke a fibula and an ankle and also coached several training sessions from the seat of a golf cart.



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