Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero revealed his gratitude to opposition coach Louis van Gaal following his heroics in his side’s penalty shoot-
out victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday night.
Romero was the hero for the South American giants, denying the Dutch on two occasions in the shoot-out to secure his side’s progress to the Final of this year’s global showpiece.
Yet the Sampdoria shot-stopper was quick to credit Oranje boss Louis van Gaal, who he worked under at Eredivisie side
AZ Alkmaar in 2007, for his memorable influence as he made the transition from South American to European club
“I went to the dressing room to congratulate him,” Romero said of Van Gaal.
“He helped me a lot when I arrived in Netherlands in a completely different country. He spoke Spanish and helped me
“So just as I’m grateful to Alejandro [Sabella], I’m also grateful to Van Gaal and everything he did for me.
“He is a person that teaches a lot to the players how to grow. He helped me grow.
I arrived when I was 20 years old and I will be forever grateful to that coach.”
The 27-year-old revealed he had no particular strategy in his side’s penalty shoot-out victory in Sao Paolo, saying that it often boils down to luck.
“Penalty kicks are a question of luck, truth be told,” said Man of the Match Romero.
“You can dive and not make it, like their goalkeeper did. But I had faith in myself and thank God everything came out OK.”
The Argentine glove-man was ecstatic with the Albiceleste’s victory, who he dedicated to the fans, as well as his family.
“This is to be enjoyed,” he said. “I am happy for everything. “This is for all the fans who came and heated up the stadiums.
I dedicate it to my parents who are in the south of Argentina and who could not be here.”
Argentina now face Germany in Sunday’s Final, and Romero feels that luck could once again play a role against their
difficult European counterparts.
“The Final is a one-off game and anything could happen, as luck is also an important element,” he said.
“Playing Germany will be difficult, but our objective since the first day of training has been to reach the Final.”