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Van Gaal: I'll make history at United

ESPN staff
May 19, 2014 « Sharapova survives scare in Madrid | Test Wayin World Cup »
Will Van Gaal cope at Old Trafford?

Louis van Gaal has pledged to make history at Manchester United after being confirmed as manager on a three-year contract and naming Ryan Giggs as his No.2.

The 62-year-old will take charge after the end of the Netherlands' World Cup campaign. He becomes the first non-British or Irish manager ever appointed at Old Trafford and replaces David Moyes, who was sacked on April 22 after his disastrous 10-month spell in charge.

"It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud," said Van Gaal. "I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I'm sure we will make history."

Giggs: I'll learn from world-class Van Gaal

  • Ryan Giggs believes he will receive a superb education in the world of football management from Louis van Gaal after agreeing to become the Dutchman's assistant at Manchester United.
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Giggs' future at Old Trafford had been uncertain after he finished his four-game stint as interim manager following the sacking of Moyes but was offered the job of assistant manager by Van Gaal last week.

Also joining Van Gaal at United are Netherlands' goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, as well as assistant coach Marcel Bout.

Announcing the appointments, United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today. He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story.

"Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club's history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us.

"People know him as a larger than life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Louis van Gaal managerial honours

  • Ajax 1991-1997: 3 Eredivisie titles, KNVB Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup
  • Barcelona (twice): 1997-2000: 2 La Liga titles, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup
  • AZ: 2005-2009: Eredivisie
  • Bayern Munich: 2009-2011: Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFB-Supercup

Van Gaal emerged as the favourite immediately after Moyes' dismissal last month, with United keen to look at a range of candidates, which included Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, but aware that it would be difficult to prise other managers away from elite clubs.

He meets United's demands for a manager with a winning track record and a history of dealing with major players. He has managed four other clubs, Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich, winning the league title with all.

Van Gaal also has a close relationship with United's Robin van Persie, who did not enjoy life at Old Trafford under Moyes. The striker is Van Gaal's captain for the Netherlands and hinted at the weekend that he would be given the same responsibility at his club, ahead of Wayne Rooney.

Van Gaal, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and reached the final as Bayern manager in 2010, revealed at the beginning of May that he wanted to become the new manager at Old Trafford, but refused to answer any questions about the club during a press conference to unveil the Netherlands squad for the World Cup.

United, who endured their worst season for a quarter of a century, finished seventh and outside of the top four for the first time in the Premier League era.

They will also miss out on Champions League football for the first season in 19 years and European football altogether after failing to qualify for next season's Europa League. The cost of this and the Moyes' reign in lost income and compensation payments has been estimated at more than £50 million.

Van Gaal is expected to be given a large transfer budget, thought to be between £150 million and £200m, to spend while Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben could be his first target.

Louis van Gaal has long been favourite to succeed David Moyes as Manchester United manager © Getty Images
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