Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2010 World Cup final remake Spain-Netherlands in Group B opener – coaches react

Group B:

Spain – Netherlands – Chile – Australia

Vicente Del Bosque, Spain

Everything depends not just on our opponents, but on ourselves and the way we mentally approach this competition. We were hoping to have a less difficult group. We’ve got two teams that we know very well, though the Netherlands have changed a lot since 2010. They make the game very uncomfortable for their opponents. They’ve got the same key attackers but under Van Gaal their system’s different and they’ve several new players.

We know Chile very well, as we’ve played them a few times, and they’re not an easy team to play against. They’ve got very gifted and experienced players, who give you a really tough game. Australia are a little less well-known, but they have qualified from the Asian Zone and I imagine they also have good players. I expect that Brazil will finish first [in Group A] and so we have to give everything to make sure we win our group, too.

Louis Van Gaal, the Netherlands. 

You can’t really do anything about it, but it’s fair to say that it’s not a good draw for us. We will play Spain, the reigning world champions; Australia, who we have never beaten; and Chile. But I’ve already played against Spain before, in my first spell as Netherlands coach. We played them in Seville and won, so why shouldn’t we beat them again? (Smiles) But well, Holland are ninth in the FIFA Ranking and Spain are first, so who do you think are favourites? Of course, it’ll be a replay of the 2010 Final.

Chile will be difficult, they’ve got players like Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal… they’re a very tough team to beat. I saw them play against Colombia when they went 3-0 up and they showed that they are a good team.  If we qualify we could end up meeting Brazil, the tournament favourites, [in the Round of 16] which makes the task even more difficult. So, it’s not the best of draws from a Dutch perspective: I would have preferred Group H. We do not have a lot of time to prepare either after arriving in Brazil, so it’s also a bad draw in that respect.

www.fifa.com

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