Louis van Gaal: The Biography

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9780091960148: Louis van Gaal: The Biography

The first definitive insider biography of the new Manchester United manager

So who is Louis Van Gaal? An inflexible ex-PE teacher who only knows how to act like a dictator, or a soccer visionary that has made him one of the greatest ever European managers? Wherever he has gone, Van Gaal has been accused of being a domineering disciplinarian and a control freak. He is certainly, by his own admission, a man who leaves nothing to chance. A disciple in the 1970s of Rinus Michels’ Total Football philosophy, he is a fascinating contradiction—an ultra-individualist utterly devoted to the collective effort. He believes in the team over the individual, in always having a plan, and a team prepared to follow that plan. Van Gaal led the young Ajax team he molded to Champions League glory in 1995, went on to win titles across Europe with Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, and Bayern Munich, and is currently in his second stint as national coach of Holland. It is a career that has never been short on color and drama—from fallouts with players to rants at the media wherever he has managed. Dutch soccer commentator Maarten Meijer’s has written the definitive biography of Van Gaal—both the man and his methods. It offers the best psychological insight so far—from his earliest roots to his greatest triumphs—into the man given the task of returning the glory days to Manchester United.

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About the Author:

Maarten Meijer is a Dutch soccer commentator who has written books on Van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, and Dick Advocaat. He has degrees in both science and philosophy and a doctorate in Russian literature, and teaches philosophy in Korea.


"Explosive... Lifts the lid on the Dutchman they call the Iron Tulip " Daily Mail "Meticulously studied... Offers more insight into his fellow countryman's thinking" Manchester Evening News "Bulges with fascinating van Gaal insight. While reading, you can't help but once again be drawn to the man" -- Johan Derksen Voetbal International "A judicious and well-researched biography" -- John Bew New Statesman

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