As one of football’s highly revered managers, Louis van Gaal has taken charge of multiple European giants over the span of his career.
The Dutchman made significant changes to his Ajax squad after assuming the mantle of head coach when Leo Beenhakker left during the early 1990s. Ajax later went on to win 3 domestic league titles, a UEFA Cup and Champions League silverware.
van Gaal then packed his luggage westwards for Spain and began coaching Barcelona in 1997, earning the Catalans’ praise with two La Liga titles and a single Copa del Rey. Unfortunately, he experienced a minor setback when leaving the Blaugrana for the Dutch national team, failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.
In 2009, Bayern Munich decided to hire van Gaal following his positive spell in the Eredivisie with AZ. The former Ajax and Barcelona manager immediately seized the domestic double during his first season, only narrowly missing out on the Treble after losing to Inter in the Champions League final.
His second tenure as head coach of the Netherlands football team resulted in an impressive third-place campaign before inevitably opting for a move to England. Despite an initially promising first season, van Gaal would later be replaced by career rival Jose Mourinho, concluding his second and final season at Old Trafford with an FA Cup triumph, Manchester United’s first trophy since the Ferguson Era.
More birthday celebrations:
1966: Chris Eubank, ex-boxer and holder of the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles. (50)
1978: Louis Saha, former France, Fulham and Manchester United striker. (38)
1985: Toby Flood, English rugby union player, who plays at fly-half for Toulouse. (31)