Former Dutch coach, Louis Van Gaal has gracefully bowed out of football despite lucrative offers for his management services. Ex-Manchester United and Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal says he has retired from coaching after a 26-year career.
The 65-year-old van Gaal has been out of work since being sacked by United hours after winning the FA Cup in May 2016.
“I thought maybe I would stop, then I thought it would be a sabbatical, but now I do not think I will return to coaching,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by a Dutch newspaper.
Van Gaal also had spells in charge of Ajax, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ. He made the announcement on Monday after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Dutch government for his contribution to football. He cited family issues for his decision, with the newspaper saying it was partly motivated by the sudden death of his daughter’s husband last month.
“So much has happened in my family. You become a human being again with your nose pressed to the facts,” he added.
The Dutchman also revealed he turned down lucrative offers to continue his coaching career in the Far East. Van Gaal played as a midfielder for Ajax, Royal Antwerp, Telstar, Sparta Rotterdam and AZ between 1972 and 1987.
He then moved into coaching, first as an assistant at AZ and followed by the same role at Ajax. He replaced Leo Beenhakker as Ajax head coach in 1991 and went on to preside over a period of sustained success. Van Gaal won the Dutch league title on three occasions as well as the 1992 UEFA Cup and the 1995 Champions League title.
Van Gaal was asked to emulate that success at Spanish giants FC Barcelona. He inherited Bobby Robson’s side in 1997 and led them to two successive La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey. His country came calling in 2000, but his first stint in charge lasted less than two years when The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. It was the first time they had missed the competition since 1986.
The Dutchman’s second spell at FC Barcelona was even shorter – eight months – as he left midway through the season with the club hovering just above the relegation zone. He then guided AZ Alkmaar to the 2005/2006 Eredivisie title before moving to the Bundesliga, where he helped Bayern Munich to the 2009/2010 Bundesliga title.
The Dutch national side approached Van Gaal again in 2012 and this time The Netherlands became one of the first two European countries, along with Italy, to qualify for Brazil 2014. There, they went on to finish in third place.
After much speculation, he joined Manchester United in May 2014, signing a three-year contract to succeed David Moyes. However, United replaced him with Jose Mourinho after just two years following a fifth-placed Premier League finish in the 2015/2016 season. The club’s first FA Cup triumph since 2004 was even not sufficient to save him.