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Netherlands coach Van Gaal hugs reporter at World Cup

WCup Netherlands Ecuador Soccer
Posted at 1:52 PM, Nov 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-25 13:52:51-05

A heartwarming moment happened between Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal and a Senegalese reporter during a World Cup press conference Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that during the news conference, Papa Mahmoud Gueye told the usually stern-looking coach that he had been an admirer of his since he was 3 years old.

The news outlet reported that hearing the reporter gush about how much the 71-year-old meant to him put a huge smile on Van Gaal's face.

“I'm going to give you a big hug after this because I like that you say this and I mean that seriously,” Van Gaal responded through an interpreter, per the Associated Press. “Because people don't often say this to me. So we'll give each other a big hug afterward.”

True to his word, after the presser, Van Gaal walked off the stage to give Gueye, a reporter for the Senegalese publication Taggat.sn, a hug, the news outlet reported.

The 28-year-old told the news outlet that meeting Van Gaal was truly a moment he'll never forget.

“He's one of the greatest figures in football," Gueye told the AP. “He was also happy to see that there are people who love him, and he said to me, ‘Let’s give each other a hug.'”