Dutch managerial maestro Louis van Gaal has decided to call retirement after having a stellar 25 years as a manager at the highest level. During his incredible career, he has managed great clubs like Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United apart from the Netherlands national team.
The 65-year old has had successive stints across all the clubs he has managed in his career and had always been noted for his development of young players. He has managed some of the greatest players in the game as a manager and has never been shy of making critical decisions to ensure silverware.
Here are some of the historic events in Louis van Gaal’s legendary career.
- Started his career as a manager at Ajax in 1991, van Gaal developed a core of team at the club which went on to win the treble in 1995. The team has managed to remain unbeaten in both league and Champions League throughout the season of 1994-95.
- He developed players like Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, Seedorf and Edwin van der Sar to name a few during his time at Ajax.
- After successful six years at Ajax, van Gaal moved to Barcelona in 1997. He was an instant hit at the Catalan club as he won back to back titles with the club.
- However, he had difficult times with media and had clashes with players like Rivaldo as he asked the player to play as a winger rather than his preferred central position.
- After three successful years at Barcelona, Louis van Gaal returned to Netherlands as he became the manager of the national team.
- Having had a poor time with the Oranje as the team failed to qualify for the World Cup, van Gaal stepped down but was speculated to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United later that season as Alex was expected to retire at the end of 2001-02 season.
- But van Gaal returned back to Barcelona signing a three-year contract with the club. Despite their incredible run in Champions League, the team has performed very poorly in the league that season as he was sacked from the job later that season.
- But he has given debut to Andreas Iniesta in the short time and has provided him with enough chances which helped the Spaniard to become a legend at the club in the later years.
- After taking almost two years of break as manager, van Gaal returned back as the coach of Dutch side AZ in 2005.
- He has managed to do the incredible with the Dutch side as he won the league title with AZ in the 2008-09 season as they remained unbeaten for 28 games beating the club’s previous records.
- After a successful stint with AZ, the Dutch manager has moved to German giants Bayern Munich where he revolutionised the Bavarian’s playing style which is still followed by the team.
- He has signed Arjen Robben and introduced the concept of inverted wingers. He has also forced Bastian Schweinsteiger to become a defensive midfielder from a winger, which proved to be a masterstroke.
- He has also given debuts to young academy players like Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber who have slowly become key players for Bayern Munich.
- He has won Bundesliga and DFB Cup in his first season of in charge and has led Bayern Munich to the finals of Champions League where they lost to Inter Milan 2-0.
- Having gone goalless in the second season, he was sacked by the Bayern board as the expectations are sky high at the club.
- After an year after sabbatical, he returned back as Netherlands manager once again and have made amends to his poor showing in the first stint.
- The Dutch team has managed nine wins and one draw to get FIFA world cup qualification and have managed to finish third in the iconic event where the home fans hardly expected them to move out to knockouts from their tough group.
- With an impressive stint with Oranje, he was signed by Manchester United to replace David Moyes. He had a decent start to his first season and have helped Manchester United get back to champions league.
- In his second season, he has tried to implement his philosophy and have given debuts to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu Mensah, two players who have the potential to become huge stars in the future.
- His philosophy of developing home grown talent, instead of signing world-class players has ultimately seen him getting sacked, hours after winning FA Cup at the end of 2015-16 season.
He has also had many other individual accolades as like the honourable knighthood of the Order of Orange-Nassau and has also become the only ever Dutch manager to win a Bundesliga title to name a few.