Louis Van Gaal on Netherlands squad numbers: “I’ve given players numbers that fit their age.”

While a big part of the Netherlands’ starting eleven already seems decided, there are still question marks on who will be in goal for their opening Group A game against Senegal.

Do coach Louis Van Gaal’s squad numbers hint at his choices? Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer has been given the number 1. However, at a recent press conference, Van Gaal argued that the numbers have nothing to do with who’ll be in goal.

“It doesn’t say anything”, Van Gaal said, as quoted by Algemeen Dagblad, adding that the number selection was based on age. “Am I joking? I don’t make jokes during press conferences. Usually, I discuss that with players, but this time I didn’t. I have given the players numbers that fit their age.”

That means Pasveer will have to fight for the spot in goal with Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow and Heereveen’s Andries Noppert, the tallest player at the World Cup standing at 203 cm. Van Gaal sparked discussion over his goalkeepers last week when he left Jasper Cillessen out of the squad. The 33-year-old has been an important player for the national team over the last few years, but was seemingly not selected because of his behaviour when not being made first-choice goalkeeper.

GWFN | Jurre van Wanrooij

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