Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal admitted that he found it difficult to tell some players that they would not be going to the World Cup.

After naming his 26-man squad, Van Gaal spoke at a press conference and stated that he judges players on four ‘team functions’: possession, switch on possession, opponent possession and switch after opponent possession. Along with the scouts and assistants, Van Gaal judged players on this.

He said, “But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice, because it also depends on the coach’s vision.

“I discovered and got to know that again this morning. I gave an argument to one of the players who dropped out. He said: “Yes, but my trainer doesn’t let me.” I said, “Yeah, then you’re out of luck.” Because then I have a different view. It all listens so closely. It’s not easy to cancel someone. I spent an hour and 45 minutes this morning canceling eleven players because Frans Hoek canceled the two keepers. That was a tough job, I can tell you.”

Van Gaal was surprised by some of the conversations he had with the dropped players, “I thought that trainer was an eye-opener. I always thought that a player made his own decision in a situation. Actually, that was stupid of me, because I myself am a trainer who has a vision and who would like to play according to his vision.

“So I found that surprising. I also had tears in my eyes with certain players, with whom you have a bigger bond. There are also players who are invited almost every game and are not there now. That’s okay with me, because it’s a big blow for every player. Who am I talking about then? I leave that in the middle, because it also puts pressure on the individual player.”

Van Gaal spoke to players in the morning and caught some players asleep, “I also took into account that we have players in England. Then there is also a time difference. Yet I have seen naked players, or players who just got out of bed. I canceled them from half past eight to ten o’clock, then I came to Zeist. In fact, we can now say: Thank you for coming and off to Qatar.”

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