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Virgil van Dijk rebuffs Lous van Gaal’s Argentina World Cup claims

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk doesn’t share the opinion of his fellow countryman Louis van Gaal over Argentina’s World Cup triumph in Qatar.

Van Gaal was in the dugout as the Netherlands slumped to a penalty shoot-out defeat to La Albiceleste in the quarter-finals after miraculously bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit in regulation time.

Inspired by Lionel Messi’s stellar showings, Lionel Scaloni’s team lifted the title in the Middle East, bringing home the most coveted piece of international silverware for the first time since 1986.

However, Van Gal believes the tournament was rigged to help Messi reach a career-defining achievement that, according to many pundits, makes him the best player of all time.

“When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it’s all a preconceived game,” he said, as relayed by talkSPORT.

“I mean everything I say. That Messi should become world champion? I think so, yes.”

While Van Gal, who resigned as head coach shortly after the 2022 World Cup, questions the legitimacy of the tournament, Van Dijk saw nothing out of the ordinary.

Speaking to Dutch media outlet NOS, the 32-year-old defender openly stood against his former manager, admitting everyone is entitled to their opening, but he and Van Gal don’t see eye to eye.

“I heard it this morning, indeed – and that’s actually it. It is, of course, his opinion,” the Liverpool ace said.

“Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. I do not share the same opinion.”

Van Dijk missed out on Liverpool’s overwhelming 3-0 home win over Aston Villa on the eve of September’s international break due to a red-card suspension.

He was sent off during the Reds’ stunning comeback against Newcastle United a week ago, but Jurgen Klopp’s side overturned a 1-0 deficit to triumph 2-1 at St James’ Park.

With the Premier League taking a back seat to accommodate the international window, the ex-Southampton centre-back will return to action this week.

The Netherlands will play Greece in their 2024 European Championship qualifying fixture at home on September 7 before visiting the Republic of Ireland three days later.

Ronald Koeman’s side have experienced mixed fortunes in their opening two qualifying Group B outings (W1, L1), making this month’s games extremely important.

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