Editor in Qatar
Editor in Qatar
The eyes of the football world on the Qatar World Cup. On the heels of divorced world stars and on the margins of big news, NOS editor Thierry Bon writes daily about what he’s going through in Doha.
Netherlands – USA, 8th World Cup 2022. An hour or two before kick-off. Climb the steps of Khalifa Stadium. Suddenly I saw a large white back with “Berhalter” written in red letters on it.
It’s a nice shirt. White, with a blue collar, with a white band in it, finished with a coat of red. And around the sleeves the same pattern.
US shirt, I think, circa mid 90’s. The man, well tanned and with a bald head, turns around. Hi, this is a familiar face. It was still on TV this week.
It is the Dutchman Ruud van Os, or the former speaker of the Sparta stadium, who recently spoke about his friendship with Greg Berhalter, the national coach of the rival Orange America.
The Sparta Stadium spokesperson knows Van Gaal, but is a friend of the US national coach
“I’m here at the invitation of Greg’s family,” says Van Os, joining a group of well-dressed Americans queuing at the food stall. This is his wife and children.
His friend Berhalter set a condition for Van Os to come. A Dutchman is not allowed to wear orange, but must wear something white. So Van Os strictly adhered to it. “There’s also a white shirt under that shirt,” he laughs relaxedly.
After ninety minutes of football, the mood was also very different for Van Os. The Dutch team is very strong 3-1 and brings the USA home. The stadium is empty except for the sections with family and friends.
Watch the Netherlands-US summary here
“I always think Americans are good at how they know how to handle a loss,” says Van Os from the stands. “You can see it now. The players and coaches report to the family in this profession. It’s quiet, but there are a lot of hugs. We support each other.”
The Berhalter family is still waiting for “Greg”. The national coach is still conducting interviews. Meanwhile, Van Os is already worried. Football coaches hired to be fired, also in America. So that will run its course. This is a hit.”
But wasn’t van Os, the head of sports at RTV Rijnmond, secretly extolled himself as a Dutchman? “No, my feeling is with Greg. I exclaimed out loud once and that was when it went down 2-1.”
“The feeling that we are strong here with these people. And I was able to be a part of it for two days. Really nice. Tonight I’m going back.”
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