Robin van Persie revealed that former Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal slapped him during the 2014 World Cup after refusing to leave the field with cramps.
In the quarterfinals against the surprise package of the tournament, Costa Rica, the match went into overtime after 90 minutes without a goal. At the start of the additional 30 minutes, van Persie stopped with a cramp and van Gaal, who was the manager at the time, shouted that he was going to take it off.
The former Manchester United striker refused to leave the field because he insisted that he would take a penalty if the shootout took place and he struggled for the last 20 minutes.
Robin van Persie (left) revealed that Louis van Gaal (right) slapped him during the 2014 World Cup
The attacker refused to go out with cramps before the penalties and van Gaal was furious with him
After 120 minutes without a goal, the Dutch regrouped as they prepared their order for the shootout to which van Persie would be part, but he was kicked by van Gaal before he could concentrate.
“When the match was over and we gathered near the sideline, he approached me and suddenly hit me,” said van Persie in the book “LVG – The Manager and the Total Person “
‘Stroke! With a big, flat hand, he kicked me and said to me in anger, “Never do that to me again.”
Van Gaal became Manchester United coach just after the 2014 World Cup with Holland
“I watched him absolutely amazed. Louis said, “Go on and make sure you put it in the net instead”.
The Netherlands won the penalty shootout 4-3 against Costa Rica after van Gaal made a bold call to replace Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul just before the final whistle. The stopper made two huge stops as Holland qualified for the last four.
After the tournament, van Gaal accepted the managerial position at Old Trafford and partnered with van Persie again.
He snubbed Arsene Wenger by saying that Sir Alex Ferguson was the best manager he had worked with.
Despite his success under van Gaal, the Dutch forward hailed Sir Alex Ferguson as the best manager he had ever worked with, snubbing former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger – with whom he had played for eight years.
“Ferguson was a really great manager,” said Van Persie in the book.
“Wenger was a combination of Ferguson and Van Gaal. Arsene has always focused on all the good things and has looked at what will work or what will work in the long term.
“Tactically, he (Van Gaal) is a genius. You can’t deny it.
Van Gaal lasted just under two years at United and was sacked two days after winning his first trophy with the club with the FA Cup win against Crystal Palace at Wembley.