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Netherlands coach Van Gaal hugs reporter at World Cup

Netherlands coach Van Gaal hugs reporter at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal was shocked at a World Cup news conference Thursday when a Senegalese reporter told the Dutchman he was a longtime admirer .

“I don’t have any questions for you. It’s just a chance to tell you that I’ve been a fan since I was 3 years old,” said Papa Mahmoud Gueye. “I love you.”

Van Gaal, 71, sometimes seen as a stern, taciturn and opinionated figure in football, flashed a huge smile before answering.

“I’m going to give you a big hug after that, because I like you saying that and I mean it,” Van Gaal said through an interpreter. “Because people don’t tell me that often. So then we’ll give each other a big hug.”

Van Gaal made good on his word, stepping off the stage and beckoning the reporter to join him in a warm embrace.

Gueye, 28, works for the Senegalese publication Taggat.sn.

Gueye told The Associated Press that it was an honor to share such an emotional moment with Van Gaal, a historic and highly innovative manager who has led teams such as Ajax, Barcelona and Manchester United.





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