Two players refused to take first penalty before Ron Vlaar said yes: Louis Van Gaal

Nishit Kunal
Modified 10 Jul 2014
The Netherlands team look on during the penalty shoot out
The Netherlands team look on during the penalty shoot out 

The Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal revealed that two of the players had refused to take the first penalty before centre-back Ron Vlaar agreed to do the job.

"I asked two players to take the first ball before ending up with Vlaar." 

"I thought he was the best player on the pitch so should have confidence," said Van Gaal.

Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero who had been taught the art of saving penalties by Van Gaal himself during his AZ Alkmaar days though had other ideas as he not only saved the penalty taken by Vlaar, but also denied Wesley Sneijder to net in the third crucial penalty as Argentina defeated the Dutch to advance into the finals.

"I taught Romero how to stop penalties, so that hurts", said the Dutch manager.

“We were the club to bring him to Europe.”

"He was a big talent, and someone who has the qualities to do that," added Van Gaal.

Romero though took the opportunity to thank his former manager and credited him for helping him learn the techniques of saving penalties.

"I went to the dressing room to thank him," he said. "He is someone who helped me a lot when I arrived in the Netherlands, in a completely different country, with different customs”.

"At the beginning I didn't speak a word, and he spoke Spanish and he helped me a lot," said Romero.

The newly appointed Manchester United manager justified his decision of not bringing the quarter-final hero for the Dutch, Tim Krul in place of first choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen as he had already used his three substitutes. Van Gaal also felt the absence of Robin Van Persie during penalty shoot-out proved costly though his replacement Klaas-Jan Huntelaar did a reasonable job on the field.

"I thought it was necessary to get Van Persie out because he was on his last legs. My feeling was that Huntelaar would make the goal," said Van Gaal.

Published 10 Jul 2014
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