Sao Paulo: They say football is a universal language, but Sergio Romero will be forever thankful for Louis van Gaal’s linguistic skills during his time at AZ Alkmaar.
The Argentina goalkeeper will face his former coach in the semi-finals of the World Cup when the South Americans take on Netherlands on Wednesday.
Romero will hope to provide a sizeable obstruction between Van Gaal and his hopes of reaching the final, but admitted he will always owe the Dutchman for helping him to embrace a new world.
“So many things are happening right now with me and the Argentina squad, it’s not easy to realise it all,” he said.
“After the drama in 2010 in South-Africa, the critics and the low points and now we’re in the semi-final against Holland. And I'm playing against my old coach Louis van Gaal, to whom I owe so much.
“When I came to AZ in 2007, I entered a new world. I spent my whole youth at Racing Club de Lavellaneda in Argentina, where I also made my debut. In the Netherlands I was a stranger.
“In the dressing room at AZ Alkmaar, we had to speak Dutch. But Van Gaal spoke to me in Spanish. That was very important for me to get through the first tough period. He was my saviour and for that reason my relationship with him is very good.”
The 27-year-old has started all five games for Argentina in the World Cup so far.