Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal reacted to praise from a Senegalese journalist by offering – and later giving – a “big hug” to the reporter.
The Oranje beat Senegal 2-0 in their World Cup opener on Monday thanks to late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen – both following errors by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
Van Gaal’s side will now face Ecuador on Friday and speaking at a press conference ahead of that game, the Dutch coach was taken aback by a reporter who had no questions but said he wanted to take the opportunity to tell the former Manchester United manager he was a ‘fan’ of the 71-year-old.
Louis van Gaal showed this young journalist some love ❤️ pic.twitter.com/IMJiwZWxLXNovember 24, 2022
“I can hug you,” replied Van Gaal. “I’ll give you a big hug later. I think it’s great that you say that. People don’t often say these things to me. So I’m going to give you a big hug.”
And true to his word, Van Gaal embraced the young journalist in front of a packed press room, while right-back Denzel Dumfries applauded the gesture.
Senegal will meet Qatar in Group A at 13:00 GMT on Friday, with the Netherlands in action against Ecuador three hours later in Doha.