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Van Gaal respects Costa Rica

Louis van Gaal believes there are ‘many similarities’ between his Netherlands team and the side they have to face on Saturday – Costa Rica.

The Central Americans are the surprise package of this summer's World Cup finals and a victory over the Netherlands in Salvador would see them reach the last four.

And Netherlands coach van Gaal is not taking his team's next opponents lightly, saying: "They play the same system and they try to attack in the same way.

\"And they try to exert pressure in the same way, so there are a lot of similarities."

He also played down the much-reported gulf in experience, class and talent between the sides adding: "That Costa Rica are considered to be a less strong team, that is by the media. That is not our words, we are not saying that.

"Our goal has always been to become world champions and we have already said we are a team which is very difficult to beat.

"We're not a great team but a team which is difficult to beat. So far we have shown that and I hope we can continue that up to and including the final.

"We have always said since the preparation for this World Cup that it will not be the best or most fantastic team that is going to win but the best 23 players will win this.

"We all have one goal, we are all supporting each other, complementing each other. That's what the Dutch team is, all 23 players.

"That will remain for the entire tournament, even if we lose. The Dutch team will fight right to the very last minute to become world champions."

Saturday's quarter-final is being staged at the Arena Fonte Nova, the same venue where the Dutch destroyed Spain 5-1 in their opening fixture of the tournament three weeks ago.