United names van Gaal as manager

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United names van Gaal as manager

Dutchman Louis van Gaal was named Manchester United’s new manager, with Ryan Giggs as his assistant, as the Premier League club issued a statement confirming the worst-kept secret in the game on Monday.

Former Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bayern Munich Coach van Gaal, who will lead the Netherlands at the World Cup next month, has agreed to a three-year contract, United said.

Giggs, the club’s record appearance maker, took charge of United’s final four Premier Leagues of the season following the sacking of David Moyes.

Van Gaal, 62, has won domestic titles and domestic cups in three countries, as well as the Champions League with Ajax and the UEFA Cup.

“In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today,” United Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward said in the statement.

“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.

“I’m delighted that Louis has chosen Ryan as his assistant. Ryan’s association with the club spans over two decades and his knowledge and stature will be of great use to Louis.

“In addition, this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan to learn his trade alongside a world class manager whose attacking instincts and belief in youth are tailor-made for Manchester United.”

Van Gaal will also bring Netherlands’ goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek and scouting specialist Marcel Bout to the club as assistant coaches.

“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.

“This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”

United, English champions on 20 occasions, finished seventh in the Premier League and will miss out on European football next season. Moyes, who replaced the retired Alex Ferguson, was sacked last month after 10 troubled months in the Old Trafford hotseat.

Giggs has called time on his remarkable 23-year, trophy-laden Manchester United career to commit himself to his new role as assistant to van Gaal.

Giggs, who made a record 963 appearances, winning 13 league titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League trophies, announced his decision on Monday via an open letter on the club’s website.

“I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life,” 40-year-old Giggs said.

“I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times.

“My dream was always to play for Manchester United and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football.

“I have always felt and appreciated your support. I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you.”

Giggs made his United debut in 1991 and remained an integral part of the club under Ferguson as they established themselves as the dominant force in English football.

Initially a wiry, close-dribbling winger, his midfield combinations with the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were at the heart of much of the team’s success.


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