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Louis van Gaal
Personal information
Full name Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal
Date of birth 8 August 1951 (1951-08-08) (age 58)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Bayern Munich (manager)
Youth career
RKSV de Meer
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1973 Ajax 0 (0)
1973–1977 Royal Antwerp 43 (7)
1977–1978 Telstar 25 (1)
1978–1986 Sparta Rotterdam 248 (26)
1986–1987 AZ 17 (0)
Total 333 (34)
Teams managed
1991–1997 Ajax
1997–2000 Barcelona
2000–2002 Netherlands
2002–2003 Barcelona
2005–2009 AZ
2009– Bayern Munich
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Aloysius Paulus Maria "Louis" van Gaal (born 8 August 1951 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football manager currently in charge of the German club Bayern Munich. Before his career as coach van Gaal played as a midfielder for Royal Antwerp and several clubs in the Dutch Eredivisie. The most part of his playing career he stayed at Sparta Rotterdam, though.

After brief spell as coach at AZ van Gaal served as assistant coach under Leo Beenhakker at Ajax and eventually took over as head coach in 1991. Under his lead the club won three league titles, the UEFA Cup, and the Champions League. Van Gaal moved to Barcelona in 1997 and won two championships. After some disagreements at Barcelona he was appointed coach of the Dutch national team, but the failed to qualify for the world cup. Another brief spell at Barcelona followed before he became manager of AZ. Having won the Dutch championship in 2009 he was hired by Bayern Munich after season.



After a career as a football player for Royal Antwerp, Sparta Rotterdam, and AZ, he became an assistant-coach in 1986. After a short career at AZ, he went to Ajax to become Leo Beenhakker's assistant. When Beenhakker left in 1991, van Gaal took over as manager.


He was Ajax manager from 1991 until 1997 and had a very successful tenure. Under van Gaal, Ajax became the Eredivisie champion three times, in 1994, 1995 (notably going the entire 94-95 league season unbeaten) and 1996. He also led Ajax to the KNVB Cup in 1993 and the Johan Cruijff Shield from 1993 to 1995. On the European scene, Ajax captured the UEFA Cup in 1992 and the UEFA Champions League in 1995 after beating AC Milan in the final. Late in 1995, Ajax beat Brazilian side Grêmio on penalties to win the Toyota Cup (formerly Intercontinental Cup). Ajax were also Champions League runners-up in 1996 after losing to Juventus on penalties.

Ajax was so successful under Van Gaal's leadership that during the 1990s, the Dutch national team was dominated by Ajax players such as Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Winston Bogarde, Michael Reiziger, and Edwin van der Sar.


In 1997, he moved to Barcelona and helped the team win two league championships. Despite this success, he came under criticism and quit the job three seasons later. He returned to the Netherlands to manage the Dutch national team in preparation for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. They failed to reach the final tournament, after losing to Ireland in Dublin.

Netherlands and return to Barcelona

The Dutch national team failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals, and subsequently van Gaal was replaced by Dick Advocaat. He returned to Barcelona for a short spell, but left the job after half a year to be replaced by Radomir Antić.

Return to Ajax

In 2004, he returned to Ajax as a technical director, but resigned later that year due to an internal conflict.


Van Gaal with AZ.

In 2005, he replaced Co Adriaanse as AZ manager. AZ finished the 2006-2007 season in third place in the Eredivisie, three points behind champions PSV and runners-up Ajax. Van Gaal also led AZ to a runners-up finish in the 2007 KNVB Cup. AZ failed to reach the UEFA Champions League after losing to Ajax 4-2 on aggregate.

Louis van Gaal initially announced he would leave AZ at the end of the 2007/2008 season due to disappointing results.[1] However, when several players of the AZ squad pointed out that they would like Van Gaal to stay with AZ for the 2008–09 season, van Gaal said he would give the players a chance to prove themselves.

2008–09 season: Eredivisie champions

AZ started the 2008–09 season with two losses: 2-1 to NAC Breda and 0-3 to ADO Den Haag, but after that the Alkmaar-based club remained unbeaten until 18 April, topping the League ahead of FC Twente and Ajax for the entire season. AZ had the best defensive record in the Eredivisie and the second-best goalscoring record, thanks to its offensive duo of league topscorer Mounir El Hamdaoui and Brazilian Ari. They were crowned league champions on 19 April, one day after AZ suffered an unexpected loss at home to Vitesse, which ended a string of 28 unbeaten games. That same day Ajax, the only opponent still technically able to reach them, lost 6–2 to PSV.[2][3]

Bayern Munich

On 1 July 2009, van Gaal took over as coach of Bayern Munich.[4][5] Van Gaal referred to his new employer as a "dream club".[6] Van Gaal got off to a poor start as Bayern Munich coach, winning only one of his first four matches in charge and by November the club was on the brink of a first round Champions League exit following two losses to Bordeaux. With Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga, speculation was rampant that van Gaal was on the brink of a departure from Bayern even earlier than his predecessor Jürgen Klinsmann. A feud with Italian striker Luca Toni who had played an important role in Bayern's 2007–08 League and Cup Double led to Toni's move to Roma. However, Bayern Munich's form improved with two Champions League victories including an impressive 4-1 victory over Juventus in Turin, the first such win for the German club allowed them to progress in second behind Bordeaux. Also Bayern Munich moved on the semifinals of the German Cup and were top of the Bundesliga ahead of Leverkusen by March. Prior to van Gaal's arrival, Bayern had not led the league since Hitzfeld left in 2008. Also, several of van Gaal's transfers proved to be successful. Franck Ribéry was kept at the club despite the fact that Real Madrid had expressed interest in signing him. Arjen Robben was signed from Real Madrid and he has proved to be a vital source of goals for the club in his wing position after an injury layoff. Ribéry and Robben have formed a formidable midfield duo despite their injuries that has been called "Robbery". Mario Gómez and Ivica Olić arrived at the club from Stuttgart and Hamburg, respectively to replace the departing Podolski and Toni. Lucio, the anchor of the Bayern defense was sold to Inter Milan but van Gaal has improved the status of Ukrainian Anatoliy Tymoschuk and Badstuber. Thomas Müller who scored a brace in Bayern's Champions League opener has also been a regular on the squad as van Gaal has continued his trend of youth development that began during his time at Ajax.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1971–72 Ajax Eredivisie 0 0
1972–73 0 0
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1973–74 Royal Antwerp First Division 10 2
1974–75 3 0
1975–76 19 4
1976–77 10 1
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1977–78 Telstar Eredivisie 25 1
1978–79 Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie 31 5
1979–80 33 1
1980–81 33 5
1981–82 24 1
1982–83 33 5
1983–84 34 2
1984–85 30 4
1985–86 31 3
1986–87 AZ Eredivisie 17 0
Total Netherlands 291 27
Belgium 42 7
Career Total 333 34


Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Ajax Netherlands 1991 1997 286 196 51 39 68.53
Barcelona Spain 1997 2000 166 92 30 44 55.42
Netherlands Netherlands 2000 2002 14 8 4 2 57.14
Barcelona Spain 2002 2003 30 16 5 9 53.33
AZ Netherlands 2005 30 June 2009 174 101 37 36 58.05
Bayern Munich Germany 1 July 2009 31 20 7 4 64.52


See also


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Born on the August 8, 1951 as Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal, Louis van Gaal is mostly known for his work as a manager for football teams, including the Dutch national team and AFC Ajax.

  • Ben ik nou zo slim of zijn jullie nou zo dom?
    "Am I that smart, or are you that dumb?"
  • Amigos de la prensa, yo me voy. Felicidades.
    "Friends of the press, I'm going. Congratulations."
    (press conference on May 20, 2000 about his departure from FC Barcelona)
  • Hier bij Ajax ligt mijn hart,
    een club fascinerend, altijd apart.
    Door velen genoemd naar godenzonen,
    voor mij de bakermat van voetbaliconen.
    Mijn herinneringen gaan terug naar De Meer,
    ook daar heerste een bijzondere sfeer.
    Nu ga ik mijn gevoelens weer achterna,
    en treed technisch toe in de Arena.
    In mijn levensfase is dit een nieuwe kans,
    en mijn jeugdliefde krijgt een extra stimulans.
    En daarom klinkt het vol overgave uit mijn mond,
    vandaag is de cirkel echt rond.

    Here with Ajax lies my heart,
    a club fascinating, always unique.
    By many named after sons of gods,
    for me the origin of football icons.
    My memories return to De Meer,
    there too was found a special atmosphere.
    Now I go after my feelings,
    and technically enter the Arena.
    In my life phase this is a new chance,
    and my childhood love gets an extra impulse.
    And that's why I state with full conviction,
    today the circle is really complete.

    (poem to commemorate his installation as technical director of AFC Ajax in October 2003)
  • Dat mag jij vinden want daarom ben je een volwassen man.
    "You're free to think that way, that's why you're a grown man."
    (to a reporter on December 31, 2006, after the league match between AZ and Roda JC)
  • Het kan een schat van een man zijn, maar het kan ook een kreng zijn. Want dit doet ie dus.
    "He can be a charming man, but he can be quite nasty too. Because this is what he does."
    (about Marco van Basten after the fall-out with Mark van Bommel)

External links

Simple English

Louis van Gaal
Personal information
Full name Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal
Date of birth 8 August 1951 (1951-08-08) (age 59)
Place of birth    Amsterdam, Netherlands
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Royal Antwerp
Sparta Rotterdam
AZ Alkmaar
Teams managed
AZ Alkmaar
Bayern Munich

Louis van Gaal (born 8 August 1951) is a former Dutch football player.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1973/74Royal AntwerpFirst Division102
1978/79Sparta RotterdamEredivisie315
1986/87AZ AlkmaarEredivisie170
CountryNetherlands 29127
Belgium 427
Total 33334


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