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)
At the ripe age of 24, Mike Trout has already established himself as one of the greats. The American’s stratospheric performances has garnered the respect and admiration of his peers and is widely regarded baseball’s exciting future prospects.
Since his timely MLB debut in 2011, “The Millville Meteor” marvelled spectators with 11 home runs, 38 RBIs, 82 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 91 games. He was later named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year and best outfielder in the Minor League All-Star team.
With his talent now evident and regular spot secured, the stage was set. In 2012, he became Rookie of the Year and narrowly fell short of the prestigious MVP accolade.
However, his hard work finally paid off and 2014 proved to be his golden year, finally earning the elusive MVP award coupled with the Hank Aaron.
Mike Trout remains a five-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP. Sporting News named him, baseball’s best player in June 2016.
More sporting icons celebrating their birthdays:
1987: Sidney Crosby; international Canadian ice hockey player, Pittsburgh Penguins captain and proud member of the prestigious Triple Gold Club. (28)
1989: DeMar DeRozan, American basket player recently named NBA All-Star for the second time in just three years. (26)
1990: Julian Savea, the Hurricanes winger played a fundamental part in securing the 2015 Rugby World Cup with an unsurpassed try count of eight for the All Blacks. (25)
The Jamaican superstar ran an Olympic-record time of 9.63 to become the fastest man yet again over the distance in London.
Here’s what else happened on this day:
1970: Manchester United became the first senior team in British football to win a competitive match by a penalty shoot-out. Their Watney Cup semi-final against Hull stood at 1-1 after 90 minutes before United triumphed 4-3 on penalties.
1978: Aberdeen’s new Pittodrie Stadium, the first all-seater stadium in Britain, was inaugurated by a friendly between the Dons and Tottenham.
1990: Tom Kite won the Federal Express St Jude Classic at Memphis to become the first golfer to win USD 6million (£3.6million) on the US PGA Tour.
2003: Darren Gough announced his retirement from Test cricket.
2004: Sven-Goran Eriksson was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Football Association following an investigation into the Faria Alam scandal.
2009: Sunderland completed the £10million signing of Darren Bent from Tottenham.
2013: Manchester United confirmed they had rejected a second bid from Chelsea for striker Wayne Rooney, while Walter Smith resigned as Rangers chairman.
2014: Bayern Munich announced they had agreed a deal with Liverpool to sign goalkeeper Jose Reina.