Van Gaal: I will ask Netherlands players for a leaving present

The Oranje coach wants his side to return from the World Cup undefeated as they prepare for Saturday's third-place play-off against hosts Brazil in Brasilia
By Greg Stobart in Brazil

Louis Van Gaal will ask his players to give him a leaving present on Saturday by becoming the first Netherlands side to return undefeated from a World Cup.

The Holland coach will step down to take over at Manchester United following the third-place play-off against hosts Brazil in Brasilia.

The Oranje lost to Argentina on penalties in their semi-final clash on Wednesday – but Van Gaal is eager to ensure that his team return from the World Cup able to boast that they were only beaten in a penalty shootout.

“It’s going to be part of my speech that it will be my last match and I hope the players want to give me a present in the form of a victory, so that we remain undefeated,” Van Gaal said in his pre-match press conference.

“Slowly but surely we are realising that we have to go for it. A Dutch team has never returned home unbeaten and that is now our aim.

“There is still something for us to do. We can still write history because the Netherlands lost matches in 1974 and 1978.”

Van Gaal was critical of the third-place match after the Argentina match and admits the Netherlands are still recovering from the blow of failing to reach a second World Cup final in a row.

"It was very, very sad and a dream has been broken. It’s not going to come back because it was all about being number one," Van Gaal added.

"Everything is disappointing. I’m disappointed because we came here with only one objective and we had the confidence that we could achieve it."