Manchester United have confirmed that Louis van Gaal is set to become manager after Netherland’s World Cup journey ends this summer.
Van Gaal, who has won multiple titles in Holland, Spain and Germany, has signed a three-year contract, which will see him take over at the club in time for the 2014/15 season.
The Dutch national coach has appointed Ryan Giggs to be his assistant manager at Old Trafford, while Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout will join Manchester United as assistant coaches. Ryan Giggs was the interim manager at Manchester United for the last four games of the season, with his last Manchester United home game coming against Hull – many suspected at the time that it would be his last outing as a player at Old Trafford and that view has been vindicated with Giggs retiring from football to focus on his management career.
Van Gaal, 62, has managed at the top level of European football for over 20 years and in that time has won domestic titles and domestic cups in three countries, as well as the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup, an Intercontinental Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and domestic Super Cups in Holland and Germany.
Manchester United Chief Executive 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.”
In addition to today’s announcement regarding Van Gaal, Ryan Giggs has announced his retirement as a professional footballer. Here’s his open letter to United fans:
“Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United. 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 want to also give a huge thanks to the backroom staff and support teams we have and have had at Manchester United over the years. I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication and commitment to creating the best environment to enable the players to thrive. I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support.
“For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions – immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future. United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way. To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.
“See you next season.