In Pictures: Van Gaal's colourful career
Champions League success with Ajax
|VIEW FROM NETHERLANDS
|By Floris Koekenbier
In Netherlands, Van Gaal is seen as one of the best coaches we’ve ever produced.
The main problem is his volatile character and his difficult relationship with the media. In terms of team selection and tactics, he’s made very few mistakes.
His biggest failure was his inability to guide the national team to the 2002 World Cup. In his second spell however, he’s succeeded and Netherlands’ strong qualification looks promising ahead of the tournament in Brazil this summer.
Van Gaal was the last coach who led a Dutch club to the Champions League trophy, while his title-winning stint with AZ Alkmaar proves he’s capable of getting the maximum out of a squad.
Van Gaal also won three back-to-back Eredivisie titles with Ajax and helped nuture talents such as Kluivert, Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Michael Reiziger and Edwin van der Sar.
The Dutchman was close to securing a second Champions League title in 1996 but his side were beaten on penalties in the final against Juventus.
He reached the end of his contract in 1997, and after being knighted moved on to Barcelona to take over from Bobby Robson.