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20th Nov 2015

Louis van Gaal on the powerful role football can play in the wake of Paris Attacks

"It can give the people force"

Conan Doherty

Louis van Gaal knows that there is very little he can say or do right now that will ease the pain of those tragic events in Paris last week. But he also knows that football can help some people. If only in a small way.

The Manchester United boss might well be preparing for a return to club action this weekend and he might well have a litany of injuries to scroll through before picking his team, but he’s well aware that there are more important things in this life.

And the Red Devils manager admits that he’ll take into account the mental state of his German and French players who were playing in Paris on that awful night before he picks his team to go to Watford on Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.


“What they have to tell me is private but we have communicated. I don’t think I have to mention what our discussions were,” van Gaal said.

“Martial can’t play because he is injured and Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin can play if we don’t take into account this event that has happened.

“For every human being in this world it’s a big blow. As members of the sport of football we can’t do too much.”

The Dutch man does believe that football can play a part in the healing process though. And he was proud of the sport’s response when it stood united for the England and France game during the week.

“We can give support in symbols which is a nice thing for the French people, for the victims and the relatives of the victims,” he said.

“I think it can give them force and strength to survive.”