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Van Dijk Responds Strongly to Van Gaal Over Lionel Messi 'Rigged' World Cup Comments
- Virgil van Dijk does not share the sentiments of his former national coach Louis van Gaal
- Lionel Messi led Argentina to a historic win at the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted in Qatar
- Van Gaal stirred up controversy by claiming the tournament's outcome had been rigged
Liverpool defender, Virgil van Dijk has responded to former manager of the Netherlands, Louis van Gaal's recent shocking allegations where he claimed the 2022 FIFA World Cup was manipulated in favour of Lionel Messi.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or Winner captained Argentina to victory at the tournament hosted in Qatar last December.
Messi played a pivotal role in La Albiceleste's campaign, scoring seven goals and earning the Golden Ball award in the process.
Argentina's fairy tale ending might have eluded them if the South American giants hadn't delivered under intense pressure earlier in the tournament.
Their quarter-final clash with van Gaal's Dutch side took place on December 10, 2022, per Sportskeeda. La Albiceleste held a solid 2-0 advantage as the 80th minute approached, courtesy of goals from Nahuel Molina and Messi.
However, a late double by Wout Weghorst levelled the score, forcing the match into extra time and eventually leading to a dramatic penalty shootout.
Van Gaal on Messi's World Cup win
Argentina narrowly prevailed over Die Oranje, securing a famous 4-3 victory in the penalty shootout to secure their spot in the semi-finals.
Months after the tournament, Van Gaal has alleged that matches were 'predetermined' to allow Messi to complete a fairy tale in football.
"I don't really want to say much about it," the Dutch manager told NOS, per Allsportztv.
"If you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals and how some of Argentina's players crossed the line and weren't punished, then I think it's all preconceived game. I mean everything I say by that. That Messi had to become world champion? I think so, yes."
MLS admin reacts to claims games are scripted for Messi in USFootball
Van Dijk reacts to van Gaal's World Cup claims
Captain of the Netherlands, van Dijk - who failed to convert a penalty during the shootout against Argentina - expressed his disagreement with his former national coach.
"Van Gaal’s words about Messi? He can say what he wants, it’s his opinion, but I do not agree with him and I don’t share the same opinion."
Social media 'conspiracy theory' backs van Gaal
Meanwhile, Sports Brief reported on a conspiracy theory circulating online that backs van Gaal's claim that the 2022 World Cup was orchestrated for Messi to win.
The former manager of the Netherlands has stirred controversy with surprising allegations implicating Argentina, the veteran captain, and the 2022 Qatar World Cup.