In an exclusive interview with Football-Oranje, which you can watch here, Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert spoke of a special World Cup experience and lauded Louis van Gaal.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

Louis van Gaal and the unexpected World Cup

Andries Noppert said, “It’s the highest level in the world, I think. I never expected that I was going to play in the World Cup because I think nobody in the world would expect it.”

“I am speaking all the time about the trainer, but in my opinion, there was only one possibility for me to come to the World Cup, and that was all about the bondscoach [manager] at that moment and that was Louis van Gaal. He believed in me, and I think he was the only one.”

“The players group was so special. I can be myself there. I am a little bit crazy. I like jokes. I’m not scared to say something and I’m not scared to play the game, so I can be totally myself.”

Noppert said that van Gaal offers “really good feedback” and spoke about the belief the now departed Netherlands manager instilled in him. “When the team believe in you, you are always going to play better. I always play a game that I want to win and I want to catch every ball, but also, everyone makes mistakes, but that’s football. That makes it easier for me, and I am really relaxed when I play a game, and it works! I don’t know why!”

Favourite moment from the World Cup?

“Against the USA, we go through, and you see after the game the whole team is coming together. We made not a party, but more a celebration to stick together with the whole group. For me, this was a lot of experience because that was a different world. From really small clubs, and there I play with the best players in the world. The difference was really big.”

“When I look back, it was a really special moment, and I would do it fifty-one hundred times again!”

Future as Netherlands number one goalkeeper?

Noppert was asked about his future prospects as first-choice goalkeeper for Oranje, to which he answered: “I don’t know. We don’t speak about this, but you are never sure of your place.”

The Heerenveen stopper was coy on the influence of Ronald Koeman on the group since he began his second stint as Netherlands manager, explaining instead that he is who he is and he will never change that. To hear more on Noppert’s view on Koeman, and much more, you can watch the full interview here:


Michael Statham (782 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.