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WC Qualification Europe

Van Gaal in 'a lot of pain' after bike accident forces Netherlands coach to take training from golf buggy

11:15 GMT 16/11/2021
Van Gaal
The Dutchman's preparations for a crucial World Cup qualifier against Norway took on an unusual twist

Louis van Gaal has admitted he's in "a lot of pain" after a bike accident left him with no choice but to take a Netherlands training session from a golf buggy.

The Netherlands are currently preparing for their next World Cup qualifying fixture against Norway in Rotterdam on Tuesday.

The Oranje can book their place at Qatar 2022 with a win or draw in the Group G clash, but their preparations have been disrupted by a health scare for Van Gaal.

What happened?

Van Gaal had to be taken to hospital after falling off his bike while cycling near the team hotel on Sunday.

The 70-year-old was subsequently diagnosed with a hip injury, and had to attend his latest press conference via video link after being confined to a wheelchair.

What's been said?

Van Gaal was also forced to coach his players from a golf cart after the incident, as he told reporters ahead of the Norway game: “Physically I’m not good, but the brain is still working. I’m in a lot of pain, that’s why I was in a buggy during training.

“I can still do everything and have done all the preparation that I normally would have.”

Van Dijk's reaction

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk also appeared in front of the media, and expressed his relief over the fact that Van Gaal has been able to return to his normal duties.

Asked how the news of the manager's injury impacted the dressing room, the Liverpool star said: "It was definitely a shock. We are happy that he can lead us and it hasn’t impacted much in terms of the preparation.

"This morning he chaired an important meeting and still guides us. Van Gaal is still keen to make it to the World Cup.”

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