The Dutch have had star individuals for many years but, in Hasselbaink's experience, have often struggled to perform as a unit partly due to egos.
However, the former Chelsea and Leeds United striker feels that the crop of Holland stars in Brazil have been united by Van Gaal, and have the right spirit to continue their progress at the tournament by beating surprise package Costa Rica in the quarter-finals.
"In '96 when there was a lot of trouble, you had a lot of big hitters, big name players in that squad," he told Sky Sports News.
"Now you have a lot of young players that Van Gaal has chosen very smartly, you have some players who have done it, who have been 10, 12 years in the mix and who have played in World Cups already, he has made a team out of it.
"Made a team with young players and players who want to play for each other. The spirit is very good. On paper we should win that but as we all know it's not that easy."
Hasselbaink scored nine goals in 23 international appearances for Netherlands between 1998 and 2002.