King Louis is back! How Van Gaal performed at Man Utd, Barca and Bayern

Martin Macdonald
Van Gaal to AZ rumours swirl as ex-Man Utd boss spotted in stands

Louis van Gaal has been named as the new head coach of the Netherlands.

It is a post that Van Gaal knows well as it will be the third time that he has taken the role. However, this time he has stepped out of retirement to take charge from Frank de Boer, who left the post after Oranje crashed and burned at the last-16 stage of Euro 2020.

It was a competition that started well of the Netherlands as they swept through the group stages with nine points from a possible nine, yet they were eliminated at the first hurdle in the knockout competition by the Czech Republic.

On 29 June, it was announced that the KNVB had parted company with the head coach but it quickly became apparent that finding a successor would not be easy.

However, in mid-July rumours started to surface that Van Gaal was willing to take over. On 4 August, he was confirmed in the job.

Van Gaal has actually been retired ever since leaving Manchester United, living in Portugal with his wife, but has been convinced to return after the KNVB bowed to his demands - including a desire to continue living in Portugal.

His assistants will be Danny Blind, Frans Hoek and Henk Fraser.

The 69-year-old has been given an 18-month deal to see the Netherlands through the 2022 World Cup.

How did Van Gaal perform with the Netherlands?

Van Gaal's first spell with the Netherlands came between 2000 and 2002.

It was a disappointing first tenure as he failed to take the nation to the 2002 World Cup, with the Dutch failing to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1986.

A particular low point was being defeated by 10-man Republic of Ireland after Van Gaal boasted that his team was much more talented than the Irish beforehand.

His second spell in charge was much more fruitful and lasted from 2012 to 2014.

Qualification for the 2014 World Cup was emphatic as the Dutch won nine and draw one of their 10 matches.

At the World Cup proper, the Netherlands started superbly, defeating defending champions Spain with a superb 5-1 victory, with Van Gaal receiving praise for his counter-attacking tactics.

Despite low pre-tournament expectations, the Netherlands finished third in the tournament, defeating Brazil in the third-place playoff after losing their semi-final to Argentina on penalties.

How has Van Gaal performed at club level?

MatchesWin %
Ajax (1991-97)68.3
Barcelona (1997-2000)56.5
Barcelona (2002-03)53.3
AZ (2005-09)56.4
Bayern (2009-11)61.5
Man Utd (2014-16)52.4

Van Gaal first hit the big time as a coach with Ajax, whom he was in charge of between 1991 and 1997.

In that time he won three Eredivisie titles as well as the UEFA Cup in 1992 and the Champions League in 1995 which was the club's first European Cup since 1973.

He would subsequently move to Barcelona where he won two league titles, though during his time at the club he expressed frustration at not being able to establish his style of play due to cultural differences.

Van Gall regularly clashed with the Spanish media during his time in Catalunya, as well as high profile players like Rivaldo.

After a period with the Netherlands, he would return to Barcelona in 2002 but was sacked the following January with the Blaugrana down in 12th in La Liga.

Between 2005 and 2009 he coached AZ.

In 2009 he was announced as the new boss at Bayern Munich, which he described as a "dream" role.

Louis van Gaal unveiled as new Man Utd manager

Louis van Gaal unveiled as new Man Utd manager

His first season with the club was a huge success as he won the double of the Bundesliga (becoming the first Dutch coach to do so) and the DFB-Pokal. It was very nearly a treble too as Bayern reached the Champions League final only to lose to Jose Mourinho's Inter.

The second campaign was poor, though, and with Bayern out of the title race Van Gaal was sacked in April of 2011.

Van Gaal was previously a target of Manchester United to come in and replace Sir Alex Ferguson, only for the Scot to continue at Old Trafford for another decade.

Eventually, the Dutchman took charge of Man Utd in 2014.

Though he became a popular figure among some fans due to his personality, his tactics and business in the transfer window was criticised.

He won one FA Cup as manager, but was sacked two days after.