The world was shocked when the Netherlands blew out Spain 5-1 on Friday, but off-field activities might have contributed to the victory. The Daily Mirror reports that Dutch coach Louis van Gaal allowed the players to visit wives and girlfriends before the match.
“My principle is the overall picture. The total person. The player,” he said. “His brain and his psyche plays a part. And the psyche is influenced by his environment. So on Thursday and this morning I gave permission for the wives to visit the hotel and so the players could be happy.”
However, he does not believe that is the reason for the win.
“But that doesn’t mean this is the reason for our victory,” he claimed. “I told the players I would make sure there would be points in time where the wives and families would visit them.”
The game was a rematch if the 2010 World Cup where Spain emerged victorious. But on Friday, The Netherlands came out with a vicious hunger for revenge and played hard until the very last minute. Despite the excellent play, van Gaal does not want the team to celebrate too much.
“We have enough players who will make sure that we don’t lose ourselves in euphoria,” he said after the game. “We played in a fantastic way, compact football. We used our centre-forwards perfectly.”
“Yes, we can get better, without a shadow of a doubt,” he continued. “You could see this in the last 20 minutes when we started to play the ball around with confidence. Then you could see how good these players can be. This result gives them confidence and I expect them to get better.”
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann said the families will be around for the players during the entire tournament. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told the players “to stick with ‘normal sex’ during the tournament and avoid anything too acrobatic.”
Mexico’s coach Miguel Herrera does not allow any of his players to have sex or drink alcohol during the tournament.