Former Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal retires

Former Netherlands, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Louis Van Gaal has confirmed his retirement after 29 years as a coach.

Louis van Gaal started coaching in 1987 working as an assistant coach at Ajax.   -  Getty Images

Former Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has confirmed that he has left football coaching behind him on TV bringing an end to a trophy-laden career spanning almost three decades.

“I am a pensioner now. I have no ambition to be a technical director or TV pundit.” Van Gaal told Dutch channel VTBL.

“My wife Truus gave up her job for me 22 years ago, and followed me when I went abroad. I told her I would quit as a coach when I turned 55, but instead kept going until I was 65.

“She is entitled to have a life with me outside of football. I can say she is very happy. I think I could have worked as a technical director.”

Managing Manchester United was the 67-year old's final stint as a manager, where he won the FA Cup in 2016.

After retiring as a player in 1987 with Eredivise club AZ Alkmaar, Van Gaal worked as an assistant coach with Leo Beenhakker, Spitz Kohn, Kurt Linder and legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff at Ajax before being promoted as the full-time manager of the club in September 1991 and guided it to the UEFA Cup in 1992.

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He won three Eredivise titles, one Dutch cup, three Super Cups and the Champions League in 1995 by beating AC Milan 1-0 in the final before moving to Barcelona in the summer of 1997.

 

He won two La Liga titles and one Copa Del Rey with the Spanish giant and much like his mentor Cruyff, Van Gaal is known for grooming future managerial talents. At Barcelona, Ronald Koeman and Jose Mourinho were his assistants, while Pep Guardiola was the club's star midfeilder. He returned to Spain for a second stint with Barcelona in 2002 which lasted just 30 matches before he was sacked.

After a brief spell as Ajax's technical director in 2004 and winning his fourth Dutch league title with former club AZ Alkmaar, van Gaal moved to the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in the summer of 2009.

 

The Dutchman won the league and cup double with the German giant in 2009-10 before being sacked in April, 2011. His decision to move Bastian Schweinsteiger from the wings to a defensive midfielder and switching Philipp Lahm from left-back to right-back besides making him the club captain paid dividends to the club in the future. His second stint with the Netherlands worked wonders for the Oranje as it went from group elimination in Euro 2012 to finishing third at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His final spell as manager was with Manchester United where he endured a miserable run of results. A feud with Angel Di Maria dominated the headlines, but the Dutchman was also responsible for handing debuts to Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, and also signing Anthony Martial, who are now established stars. The 2016 FA Cup final where the Red Devils beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the final turned out to be his final match as a manager.

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