LONDON: Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has announced his retirement from professional football, putting an end to his 26-year-long illustrious career.
The 65-year-old, who has been without work since being sacked by United hours after winning the FA Cup in May 2016, insisted that some “events in his family” have persuaded him not to continue despite the chance to earn a lucrative salary overseas.
“Last year, I said I was going to quit, but later I changed it and I said I would take a sabbatical. Now, I believe I will not return any more. So many things have happened in my family recently, so that really was a wakeup call and it put everything into perspective,” goal.com quoted van Gaal, as saying.
Van Gaal, who was speaking after being handed a lifetime award by the Dutch government on Monday, was referring to the sudden death of his son-in-law.
The Dutchman enjoyed an extremely successful career as a manager, carving out a career at top clubs in Spain, England, Germany and the Netherlands. He recently also received an offer to manage a club in Asia where he would have earned 44 million pounds in three seasons.
Following a relatively unremarkable playing career, van Gaal began his managing career with Ajax in 1992, leading them to league titles in 1994, 1995 and 1996 as well as to the Champions League title during that period of phenomenal success.
Van Gaal also managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Holland in his coaching career.He joined Barcelona in 1997, where he won two Primera Division titles, one Copa del Rey crown, and the UEFA Super Cup.
He then began his first spell as Netherlands in 2000 but infamously failed to guide them to World Cup 2002 followed by his return to Barcelona for a short span of time.
Subsequently, he spent four years in charge of Dutch club AZ before guiding Bayern Munich to the Champions League final in his first year in charge.
Van Gaal finished his managing career with two years in charge at Manchester United. He was a controversial figure as many supporters didn't feel that the club progressed under him before his former rival Jose Mourinho replaced him