Netherlands climb up the FIFA rankings under Louis van Gaal

Netherlands have moved up the FIFA rankings after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar ending the year in the top 10 best footballing nations, Voetbal International reports.

Oranje have moved up two places to sixth while world champions and quarter-final opponents Argentina failed to secure top spot despite an impressive winning the top prize.

Head coach Louis van Gaal, who is leaving his role at the end of the year, was hoping to win Oranje’s first ever world title ahead of the tournament but were once again knocked out by Argentina on penalties.

They now sit behind Brazil, who are still first, Argentina, France – who lost in the final – along with Belgium and England while North African nation Morocco make the big jump from 22nd to 10th after their incredible performance on the world stage.

It would come as good news for the KNVB as they reflect on Van Gaal’s third stint as Oranje boss even despite a number of criticisms over the team’s style of play during the World Cup.

Van Gaal adopted a more defensive and patient style of play during the World Cup as they faced Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar in the group stages before winning Group A and setting up a round of 16 tie with USA – far from the usual attacking approach Oranje are renowned for.

But the head coach defended his tactical decision and even received the support of Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy too.

Ronaldo Koeman will start his second stint in the new year as the boss of the Dutch national team having previously taken on the role between 2018 and 2020.

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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