A joking message Erik ten Hag shared with Lisandro Martinez has come to light, while the Man Utd boss hailed seven stars who impressed at the World Cup.
The Red Devils had more than their fair share of representatives in Qatar. Three of their finest stars were heavily involved for England, with defensive pair Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw starters and Marcus Rashford chopped and changed.
Elsewhere, Portugal duo Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes both made the knockout rounds. So too did Brazil’s Casemiro, Fred and Antony as well as Raphael Varane of France and Lisandro Martinez of Argentina.
The latter two are United’s last men standing in Qatar and could well meet in the final on Sunday. Argentina square off against Croatia in the first semi-final tonight. Tomorrow is the turn of France and surprise package Morocco.
Martinez’s Argentina booked their place in the semi finals after scraping past the Netherlands in a feisty quarter final clash.
The ill-tempered contest produced 17 yellow cards including one for Martinez. Man Utd target Denzel Dumfries was also shown a red card after the penalty shoot-out concluded.
As a Dutchman, Ten Hag’s loyalties obviously laid with his home country. However, he also has a foot in the camp of his United players and per the Manchester Evening News, couldn’t resist a cheeky message to Martinez prior to their two nations facing off last Friday.
Cheeky Ten Hag message comes to light
The report stated Ten Hag – who has liked what he’s seen from his centre-half in Qatar – jokingly messaged Martinez saying he’ll ‘see him on Monday’.
Unfortunately for Ten Hag, the Netherlands bowed out after falling 4-3 on penalties and it’s fellow countryman Tyrell Malacia who he’ll link back up with first.
Ten Hag has spoken in multiple press conferences during United’s warm-weather training camp in Spain.
The Manchester United boss recently explained what it’ll take for him to sell Harry Maguire after detailing some home truths.
Elsewhere, the MEN carry quotes from Ten Hag who’s been mightily impressed with his United contingent in Qatar.
The Dutchman ran the rule over seven of his stars and stressed the club are prepared to lift the spirits of those who’ve suffered disappointment on the biggest stage.
Man Utd contingent impress Ten Hag
“We are prepared for every situation,” said Ten Hag of some players potentially returning to Old Trafford with low confidence.
“Players have success, if they don’t have success, so there will be some who are really happy and some will come back really disappointed and something can be in between.
“Maybe when you’re playing the final but lose, you’re going to first be really disappointed. But if you see it after you see we had a great World Cup.
“What I see until now, I’m really happy with the performance of our players, they are really in good shape. We talked already about Casemiro but you see Bruno, great World Cup until now.
“Diogo, in two games, did really well. If I see the English, [Maguire, Shaw, Rashford] all three are performing magnificently. Rapha Varane is back, is doing well. So I’m really happy with the performances of all our players.”