Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: 'Louis van Gaal has united Netherlands'

Head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014
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Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink praises Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal for bonding their individual talents into a team at the World Cup.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has praised Louis van Gaal for creating the right balance in the Netherlands World Cup squad to bond them into an effective team.

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.

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands celebrates with head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands after scoring the teams first goal in the first half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Spain and Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova on
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