Argentina vs. Netherlands: Lionel Messi’s Next Hurdle Is a Big One

Rory Smith

Credit…Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Louis van Gaal, the veteran coach of the Netherlands, has long been regarded as one of soccer’s most fearsome straight shooters: unapologetically blunt, consistently withering, wholly self-possessed. Van Gaal does not suffer fools, and when van Gaal looks around, he believes he sees quite a lot of them.

It was somewhat disconcerting then, a couple of weeks ago, to hear him use a news conference to discuss — at reasonable length — the genetic benefits of his mother’s “cherry-red cheeks,” which she retained, apparently, well into her old age. (The context of this is not, even weeks later, entirely clear.)

Read Story