24 Facts About Van Gaal

1. Van Gaal is one of the most decorated managers in world football, having won 20 major honours in his managerial career.

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2. Van Gaal moved to Barcelona in 1997 and won two league titles and one Copa del Rey, but left after disagreements with the club's hierarchy.

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3. Van Gaal was then appointed at the Netherlands, but failed to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

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4. Van Gaal was loaned to Belgian First Division side Royal Antwerp playing under Guy Thys with whom he was runner-up in the Belgian top division in 1974 and 1975.

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5. When Beenhakker left in 1991, Van Gaal took over as manager.

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6. Van Gaal was Ajax manager from 1991 until 1997 and had a very successful tenure.

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7. Van Gaal led Ajax to the KNVB Cup in 1993 and the Johan Cruyff Shield in 1993, 1994, and 1995.

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8. Van Gaal was chosen as the best player in 1999, but he has not handled himself well since then and has not behaved like a footballer should.

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9. On 1 July 2009, Van Gaal took over as coach of Bayern Munich.

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10. Van Gaal referred to his new employer as a "dream club".

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11. Van Gaal installed many youth players as fixtures in the starting 11, including Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber, and converted the winger Bastian Schweinsteiger into a defensive midfielder.

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12. On 6 July 2012, Van Gaal was presented as the new Netherlands coach.

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13. Van Gaal was confirmed to replace David Moyes as the new manager for Manchester United on 19 May 2014, becoming the club's first manager from outside the British Isles.

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14. Van Gaal signed a three-year contract coming into effect after the 2014 World Cup.

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15. Van Gaal named Ryan Giggs as his assistant manager, Marcel Bout as assistant coach, specialising in oppositional scouting, and Frans Hoek as goalkeeping coach.

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16. Van Gaal claimed he had inherited a "broken" United squad, and that he would give youth a chance.

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17. Van Gaal reacted to the poor form by saying that it would take three years to take his United team to their full potential.

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18. On 4 February 2015, Van Gaal was charged by The Football Association over comments he made about the referee Chris Foy, saying, "Every aspect of a match is against us – the pitch, the referee" during United's goalless draw with Cambridge United.

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19. On 12 March 2019, Van Gaal announced his official retirement from football.

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20. On 4 August 2021, Van Gaal came out of retirement to take charge of the Netherlands national team for a third time.

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21. Youngest of nine brothers and sisters, Van Gaal was brought up as a Catholic.

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22. At the age of 18, Van Gaal met Fernanda Obbes at a Catholic youth group.

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23. Van Gaal was mocked by fans of Ajax's opponents for her illness.

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24. On 3 April 2022, Van Gaal revealed that he was receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

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