Louis van Gaal has claimed that last year’s World Cup in Qatar was rigged in order to help Lionel Messi finally lift the trophy.
Messi led Argentina to their first-ever World Cup trophy since 1986, beating defending champions France in the final through a penalty shootout at the Lusail Stadium on December 18.
The game had ended 3-3 after extra time with Messi’s brace and Angel di Maria’s strike cancelled out by Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick.
Van Gaal, who coached the Netherlands at the same World Cup, believes that the tournament was rigged so that Messi could finally win the trophy that had always eluded him.
The veteran coach told NOS: “I don’t really want to say much about it. When you see how Argentina gets the goals and how we get the goals, and how some Argentina players overstepped the mark and were not punished, then I think it was a premeditated game.”
The 72-year-old added: “I mean everything I say. That Messi should become world champion? I think so, yes.”