Former United manager Louis van Gaal retires from football

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Former United manager Louis van Gaal retires from football

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SportsCafe Desk

01/17/2017

Former Man United boss Louis van Gaal, on Monday, announced his retirement from professional football, bringing an end to a successful career that spanned over 26 years. The Dutchman won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and also bagged league titles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

While many were waiting to see which club Van Gaal will manage next, the 65-year-old calmly announced his retirement from professional football soon after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Dutch government for his contribution to football.

"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 told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"So much has happened in my family, you become a human being again with your nose pressed to the facts," he added, citing family issues for his decision.

The former Netherlands coach has not managed a side after ending his spell as United's manager in May last year. He also revealed that there were few offers from Middle-Eastern clubs which he declined during this period.

As a player, Van Gaal represented Ajax, Royal Antwerp, Telstar, Sparta Rotterdam and AZ between 1972 and 1987 before moving into coaching, first as an assistant at Dutch club AZ.

He was later promoted as the head coach at Ajax 1991 after joining the Dutch club as an assistant coach a season earlier. He went on to win three Dutch league titles with the capital club, while also winning the 1992 Uefa Cup and the 1995 Champions League title.

Following this, Van Gaal moved to Spain to coach Barcelona, taking over Bobby Robson's side in 1997 and led them to two successive La Liga titles and a Spanish Cup. In 2000, Van Gaal was appointed as Netherlands' national team coach, but was sacked in less than two years after the country failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

The Dutchman returned to Barcelona for a second spell that year, but his stay at the Spanish club lasted just eight months as he resigned midway through the season with the club hovering just above the relegation zone. He joined his former club AZ Alkmaar to guide them to a 2005-06 Dutch league title before moving to Germany in 2009 to manage Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and helped them to the 2009-10 league title.

In 2012, Van Gaal took over the Dutch national side and guided them to a third-placed finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Following this, the Dutchman signed with United in May 2014, succeeding David Moyes as the Red Devils' manager. However, his stint with Premier League side lasted just two years and was sacked following a fifth-placed finish in the 2015-16 season. He had guided the club to FA Cup success in 2014.

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