Manchester United appoint Van Gaal

Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal replaces David Moyes as the Manchester side's manager with Ryan Giggs as his assistant.

    Van Gaal is likely to be handed considerable funds to strengthen the squad [Reuters]
    Van Gaal is likely to be handed considerable funds to strengthen the squad [Reuters]

    Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was hired as Manchester United manager, tasked with reviving the fortunes of one of the world's biggest clubs.

    The 62-year-old Dutchman has signed a three-year contract and will take over at Old Trafford after the World Cup in Brazil, with United great Ryan Giggs will be his assistant.

    Van Gaal success
    • National titles: Ajax (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96), Barcelona (1997-98, 1998-99), AZ Alkmaar (2008-09), Bayern Munich (2009-10)
    • Champions League: Ajax (1994-95)
    • Uefa Cup: Ajax (1991-92)

    Van Gaal has experience of coaching - and winning league titles - at some of the world's top teams, but even spells at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich may not prepare him for the rebuilding job required at United.

    "To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud," Van Gaal said in a United statement.

    "This club has big ambitions and I too have big ambitions. Together I'm sure we will make history."

    The club has been in a state of flux since the retirement of Alex Ferguson last May after nearly 27 years in charge.

    Moyes, Ferguson's successor, was dismissed last month before the team went on to finish seventh - their lowest placing since the Premier League's inception in 1992.

    United also failed to qualify for European football for the first time in 24 years.

    Van Gaal is likely to be handed considerable funds to strengthen the squad to get United back in the Champions League, something the club's American owners weren't prepared to give Moyes.

    Breaking the mould

    In the club's 136-year history, no previous manager has come from outside Britain or Ireland, a common occurrence at England's other big clubs in recent years.

    After spending six years at Ajax, where Van Gaal guided a talented young team to the pinnacle of European football by winning the Champions League in 1995, he joined Barcelona in 1997 for the first of two spells.

    Van Gaal may not be the long-term manager many at United crave but the fact that he has won league titles with every team he has worked makes him one of Europe's most-respected coaches.

    He has been coach of the Netherlands since 2012, his second spell with the national team following a stint from 2000-02.

    "People know him as a larger-than-life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence."

    SOURCE: AP


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