Louis van Gaal was unceremoniously removed from the helm at Manchester United in May 2016. The legendary Dutchman has had a glorious managerial career. His last piece of silverware, the FA Cup, took his trophy tally to 20. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich won at least one title at all the clubs he coached.
Over the course of his long and successful career, LVG made a lot of enemies but they certainly don’t outrank his number of friends and admirers in the game. Famous for his philosophy and promotion of talented young individuals, Van Gaal deserves a lot of credit for introducing world-class players such as Thomas Muller, Xavi and David Alaba to the world.
Van Gaal’s legacy and larger-than-life character will be remembered long after his retirement. The former Holland coach received criticism and negative comments from various people in the football world but we would like to look at the positives of such an iconic gentleman. Here are a few quotes on Louis van Gaal from some of the well-known names in the football world.
“I need to show respect because when I was a player he was a manager at Ajax and Barcelona and his background is amazing and was one of the references as a young coach. You always see Van Gaal when you were a player and how he was, always helping the younger players, I think he is one of the best in the history of managers.”
– Mauricio Pochettino
“I owe Van Gaal a lot – he really helped me as a player. I was not always playing for Bayern – but still he continued to pick me for the national team. That faith he showed in me helped me as a player – and then I went on to play some of the best football of my career for Bayern. I was not a special case – he shows faith in all of his players – and that is one of the reasons why players want to play for him – and why they like to play for him.”
– Arjen Robben
“For myself he’s the best coach I ever had. The way he does technical stuff, how he trained us, as young players, we learned the trade of being football players, we all listened to him. He was very demanding, but we had success so then it doesn’t matter how many times the coach wants to train.”
“For the youngsters, Van Gaal is absolutely the right manager. He is a fantastic trainer, a perfect human being.
– Patrick Kluivert
“He’s been brilliant for me. I’m learning all the time. The trust that he gives his staff is brilliant and I think everyone who is not used to working with him has enjoyed the different things that he’s brought.
“After two days of training under him I thought, ‘Who is this idiot?’ After a week, I thought, ‘He’s right.’ He’ll always be in my heart, Louis van Gaal. [He is a] good person, very good trainer. He’s honest, methodical and a real perfectionist. He’s very demanding, he’s strict and he wants to achieve the highest levels possible. He’s a tough fighter, yet he put trust into me when I was 17 and 18 years old.
“Van Gaal had a huge effect on my development. I am very grateful to him — he gave me great help and leadership, and he saw something in me as a forward where some others didn’t.”
– Thomas Muller
“[He is] a great man. Obviously, [he is] a great football manager and I’m happy that he joins me in the same country and in the Premier League. But more important than that is he is a great guy and I wish him good.
“He (LvG) is the best Holland manager of all times.”
– Dick Advocaat
“He is going to be a fantastic manager in the Premier League. I liked how the decisions [in the 2014 World Cup] he made were clear, how the timing of his decisions were always right and in my opinion it was the right decision every time.”
“I think Louis van Gaal and I have a very special relationship – he moved me into the centre of the midfield at Bayern and I’ve got a lot to thank him for. Also, my move to United was because of him. I will never say any bad words about somebody for whom I have so much to thank.
– Bastian Schweinsteiger
“It was great working with Louis and getting a good run of games. Knowing Louis, he’s one that’s very tactically aware. Despite the ups and downs of the season, I think on the whole we as a team were very solid.
– Chris Smalling
“There is something about going into a Van Gaal dressing room and training sessions – there is a positive vibe and a warmth to the place. Van Gaal is the kind of guy who can really make individual players better. It was the most important step of my career to go from Real Madrid to Bayern. It was the best move of my career, coming here and working under him.
– Arjen Robben
Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.