Why the Netherlands are Bastian's 'surprise team'

Friday 09 December 2022 09:45

Which country was your outside pick to shine at the 2022 World Cup? Former Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger names the Netherlands as his “surprise team” and rates them particularly highly as the tournament reaches its quarter-final stage.

The nation, of United’s Tyrell Malacia, is set to take on Argentina in a mouth-watering last-eight clash this evening (19:00 GMT), and ahead of that tie, Schweinsteiger has made the case for why the Dutch could take another big step towards lifting the trophy for the first time in their history, later on.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with MUTV’s Mark Sullivan, Schweinsteiger, who is currently in Qatar covering the competition for German TV, explained why he’s been so impressed with the Oranje.
Schweinsteiger reveals his World Cup winners Video

Schweinsteiger reveals his World Cup winners

Q&A part one | Bastian Schweinsteiger dissects Germany's World Cup exit, reveals his winner & analyses Casemiro’s form…

"I always was saying if someone asks me before the tournament started 'who is your surprise team?' I would always pick the Netherlands because I saw them once against Germany in Amsterdam and they drew 1-1,” he said, in part one of our catch-up, which you can see in full above.

“It was six months ago, and they really played well in that game, at a very high level, so I rate them very high.”
Schweinsteiger of course has connections with the current Netherlands camp that he developed during his two years at United between 2015 and 2017. 

The 2014 World Cup winner was signed by Dutch manager Louis van Gaal during his time at Old Trafford and went on to work with squad members Daley Blind and Memphis while here in Manchester. 

He likes what his former Reds boss has put together with the Netherlands and wouldn’t be surprised to see them overcome one of the pre-tournament favourites, Argentina, later on.
Schweinsteiger joined United in the same summer as Memphis and a year after Daley Blind.
“Louis van Gaal is doing a great job. They are unbeaten since he took over, in 19 games they have won 14, five draws, and yeah, the mix is good,” he added.

“They have the same core, I would say, with [Virgil] van Dijk, with Daley Blind, Memphis, Frenkie de Jong is an amazing midfield player, so I give them a very good chance against Argentina. 

“Louis van Gaal can definitely surprise us."

Keep your eyes peeled for the second part of our exclusive interview with Bastian Schweinsteiger to come on Saturday in the United App and on ManUtd.com.