After a successful trophy-laden managerial career, Louis van Gaal has decided to retire from football.
Illustrious career comes to an end
Louis van Gaal announced his retirement on Dutch television, bringing an end to a stellar quarter-of-a-century long career, online sportsbooks news report.
Having won almost everything there is to win in football, van Gaal believes it’s time to shift his focus on his wife that has stood by his side throughout his long managerial tenure all over Europe. He has reiterated that he has no intention to take on a more directorial role, behind the scenes at one of his former clubs, instead he’ll withdraw from the football world altogether.
“I am a pensioner now,” said the 67-year-old. “I have no ambition to be a technical director or a TV pundit.”
“My wife Truus gave up her job for me 22 years ago and followed my 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.”
Trophy cabinet is filled with silverware
Van Gaal’s greatest accomplishment on club level is lifting the Champions League trophy with Ajax in 1995, after they defeated defending champions AC Milan 1-0 in Vienna’s Ernst-Happel Stadion. On the international stage with Holland, he led the Oranje to a bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after they overcame the hosts themselves in a big 3-0 victory.
Van Gaal had kicked off his managerial career with Ajax (the club he played for 2 seasons as a player) in 1991, and would go on to stay with the Amsterdam side for 6 seasons, achieving an impressive winning percentage (68.77%) that saw them collect numerous medals in the process.
Under van Gaal, Ajax were crowned Eredivisie champions 3 times (1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96), while also clinching the UEFA Cup (today’s Europa League) in his first season, along with other accolades. But the culmination of his success with the club was becoming champions of Europe in 1995.
When Barcelona came calling in 1997, van Gaal took up the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of fellow Dutchman Johan Cruyff in trying to emulate his success. 2 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey and a UEFA Super Cup were delivered as a result of his appointment, but clashes with the press and dressing room rows with some players, he decided to leave the Nou Camp to manage the Netherlands national team.
His spell with the Oranje wasn’t successful as they failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, which saw him replaced with Dick Advocaat, per online sportsbooks in the Netherlands. Van Gaal returned once again to Barcelona briefly before taking on AZ Alkmaar (another one of his former sides that he played for), helping them clinch a historic Eredivisie title in 2008/09.
Following that, the Dutchman led Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga title, DFB Pokal and a DFB Supercup in his 2 years with the Allianz Arena side, before taking charge of his country’s national team for the second time. Unlike his first spell, which was highly disappointing, this time around van Gaal guided them to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He finished his career with Manchester United, after a lackluster 2-season spell, although he helped them win the FA Cup in 2016, thus ensuring he went out on a high.