Van Gaal ‘kisses Memphis on the mouth’ despite Man Utd stint as he responds to Di Maria jibe

Jason Soutar
Louis van Gaal and Memphis Depay during a press conference

Louis van Gaal has responded to Angel Di Maria’s fiery comments about his time under the Dutch manager at Manchester United.

Di Maria was signed by the Red Devils in 2014 for over £60million after a terrific spell with Real Madrid.

The Argentine winger had just been named man of the match in Los Blancos’ Champions League final victory against Atletico Madrid, but his time at Old Trafford was extremely underwhelming.

Van Gaal has established himself as a bit of a character throughout the course of his career, but Di Maria did not enjoy playing for him, blaming his poor stint in the Premier League on the 71-year-old.

Speaking last year, Di Maria told TyC Sports: “My problem at Manchester was the coach.

“Van Gaal was the worst of my career. I would score, assist, and the next day he would show me my misplaced passes.

“He displaced me from one day to the other, he didn’t like players being more than him.”

Ahead of the Netherlands’ huge World Cup quarter-final against Argentina this week, manager Van Gaal was quizzed on Di Maria’s comments whilst sat next to former United attacker Memphis Depay.

In classic Van Gaal fashion, he responded: “He’s one of the few players with this opinion.

“I’m really sorry about this and I find it sad he said this.

“Memphis had to deal with it too at Manchester, and now we kiss each other on the mouth.

“That kiss on the mouth.. he [Memphis] doesn’t want it, but this is fine.”

Unsurprisingly, Memphis was left in stitches at his manager’s comments.

Memphis clearly gets on well with Van Gaal – perhaps too well – and is looking forward to taking on Argentina as the Netherlands hope to continue their unbeaten run under the 71-year-old.

“Van Gaal has had a lot of impact on this team. We haven’t lost a game yet. The discipline has really tightened up since he arrived,” he said.

“The game is going to be decided in moments. We believe we can catch a moment and go through.

“I never experienced a penalty shoot-out before. We are professionals and we will be prepared. But we are hoping to win the game in the 90 minutes.”

The Barcelona forward was asked if Van Gaal reminds him of an embarrassing or fun uncle, in what quickly became a bizarre press conference.

“This question… you could have come up with something better,” he responded. “Our manager has character and humor and I think people can appreciate it.”

The Netherlands reached the last eight in Qatar by topping a group consisting of Ecuador, Senegal, and the host nation.

They disposed of the United States in the last 16 after Memphis shone in a 3-1 victory.

Argentina, on the other hand, bounced back from a 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia on matchday one to beat Mexico and Poland on their way to topping Group C.

Lionel Scaloni’s side beat Australia 2-1 in the last 16 thanks to a terrific performance from Lionel Messi.

READ MORE: Ranking Premier League clubs on how knackered their players might be after the World Cup