Former Manchester United striker, Robin Van Persie, has revealed that former Netherlands manager, Louis van Gaal, slapped him when he refused to come off during a crucial game against Costa Rica in the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Van Persie played under Van Gaal at the international level with the Netherlands and club level with Man United.
“The game went into extra-time, and I got cramp. Louis shouted ‘I am taking you off,’ the former Arsenal striker said in a new book detailing Van Gaal’s career, LVG – The Manager and the Total Person.
“I turned around and shouted ‘no, no, we have penalties soon’ but the last 20 minutes were physically really hard for me.
“He [Van Gaal] could see that, and steam was coming out of his ears.
“When the match was finished, and we gathered near the touchline, he got close to me and suddenly hit me.
“With a big flat hand, he dealt me a blow and said angrily ‘don’t ever do that to me again.
“I looked at him, absolutely stunned. Louis said, ‘just get on with it and make sure you get it in the net from the spot.’
“I am glad I managed to put the penalty in the corner. When I look back on that incident, it was a weird moment, but that was Louis for you.
“Sometimes, he can hug a player – and sometimes he can hit you.”