Louis van Gaal set to answer Netherlands SOS and step out of retirement

Louis van Gaal is ready to answer his country’s managerial SOS and replace Frank de Boer as Netherlands boss, according to reports from his homeland.

De Boer quit as head coach after the Oranje crashed out of Euro 2020 with a 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Th 51-year-old said he was stepping down to give his country the best chance of reaching the World Cup finals in Qatar next year.

Now former Manchester United boss Van Gaal, 69, has been tipped for a sensational return to the hotseat – two years after announcing he was retiring from management.

Van Gaal is also set to manage Dutch second-tier side Telstar next season – for one game only.

Louis van Gaal is to come out of retirement to manage Telstar - and could also take charge of the Netherlands
Louis van Gaal is to come out of retirement to manage Telstar – and could also take charge of the Netherlands

And he is open to becoming Netherlands manager for a third time, according to Volksrant, cited by Voetbalprimeur.

The report claims the ex-Barcelona chief was ‘outraged’ at being snubbed for the job just under a year ago, when De Boer replaced Ronald Koeman as head coach.

Nevertheless, Van Gaal is said to be willing to enter talks over a return, despite having quit football in 2019, three years after being sacked as United manager.

Back then, the Dutchman had said he was walking away from football altogether to spend more time with his family, insisting he had no plans to become a technical director or work in the media.

If he does take charge of the national team, he will have to combine the role with managing Telstar for a one-off game as part of a fundraising drive next term – with one lucky fan winning the chance to be his No2.

Supporters can buy lottery tickets at £2.50 each for the chance to serve as his assistant during the match, with the draw being made on July 17.

Van Gaal played for Telstar during the 1977-78 season before joining Sparta Rotterdam.

And he told fans: “If you want to make a mess of a game alongside me, buy a lottery ticket.”

Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup in his final game as Man Utd boss
Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup in his final game as Man Utd boss

The KNVB will hope he doesn’t “make a mess” of the Dutch national team if he comes to the rescue following their Euro 2020 exit.

The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup under his first reign, but on his return he led them to the semi-finals of the 2014 edition.

He succeeded David Moyes as United boss after that tournament, guiding the Red Devils to fourth- and fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League.

Van Gaal ended his second season in charge by winning the FA Cup – but was then sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho.

After that he was linked with a host of managerial jobs, and turned down the chance to take over at Feyenoord before announcing his retirement in March 2019, aged 67.

“I am a pensioner now. I have no ambition to be a technical director or a TV pundit,” Van Gaal told Dutch TV show VTBL.

“My wife Truus gave up her job for me 22 years ago, and followed me when I went abroad.

“I told her I would quit as a coach when I turned 55, but instead kept going until I was 65.

“She is entitled to have a life with me outside of football. I can say she is very happy.

“I think I could have worked as a technical director. But in this role you can’t attend training or say anything for fear it won’t suit the coach, directors or media. I don’t think I want a job like that.”

Van Gaal enjoyed a hugely successful managerial career, taking in spells with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

He won three league titles and the Champions League with Ajax, claiming a further Dutch title later in his career while managing AZ Alkmaar.

Van Gaal led Barcelona to two La Liga titles and picked up another title in Germany with Bayern.


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