Aloysius Paulus Maria "Louis" van Gaal, OON (Dutch pronunciation: [luˈʋi vɑŋ ˈɣaːl]; born 8 August 1951), is a retired Dutch football manager and former player. He was formerly manager of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ, Bayern Munich, the Netherlands and Manchester United. He is one of the most decorated managers in world football, having won 20 major honours in his managerial career.
Before his career as a coach, Van Gaal played as a midfielder for Royal Antwerp, Telstar, Sparta Rotterdam, Ajax and AZ. He is also a fully qualified physical education teacher and has worked as such at high schools during various stages of his career as a semi-professional footballer.
After a brief spell as coach at AZ, Van Gaal served as assistant coach under Leo Beenhakker at Ajax and eventually took over as head coach in 1991. Under his lead, the club won three Eredivisie titles, the UEFA Cup, and the Champions League. He moved to Barcelona in 1997 and won two Spanish league titles and one Copa del Rey. After some disagreements at Barcelona, he was appointed coach of the Netherlands national team, but failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Another brief spell at Barcelona followed before he became manager of AZ. After winning the Eredivisie with AZ in 2008–09, he was hired by Bayern Munich on 1 July 2009. In his first season at Bayern, he secured the Bundesliga title, won the DFB-Pokal, and reached the final of the Champions League. In July 2012, he was appointed manager of the Netherlands for the second time and led them to third place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, before leaving for Manchester United. He had a satisfactory first season. However, after only finishing fifth in his second season he was sacked and replaced by José Mourinho, despite winning the FA Cup.Close