LONDON, May 19: Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal will take over as the new manager of Manchester United after the World Cup with Ryan Giggs as his assistant, the club announced Monday.
Van Gaal, 62, has signed a three-year contract to succeed David Moyes who was sacked in April after a disastrous run of results.
His duties with the Dutch national side means Van Gaal will not be able to join up with Manchester United until after the World Cup in Brazil, which would not be until mid-July if the Netherlands reach the latter stages of the tournament. (Netherlands World Cup Squad 2014: FIFA World Cup 2014 Football Team & Player List)
Van Gaal, a disciplinarian who has won domestic titles and cups with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich as well as the Champions League, will become the first manager from outside the British Isles to take charge of United.
In a statement he said he was looking forward to taking charge of the “biggest club in the world”.
“It was always a wish for me to work in the English Premier League,” van Gaal explained.
“To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud.
“I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are.
“This club has big ambitions. I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”
Giggs, United’s record appearance holder who was in charge for the final four games of the season after Moyes’ departure, added: “I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager.
“Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters.
“Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I’m delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role,” Giggs added.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, under pressure to oversee a revival in the club’s fortunes, 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.”
Van Gaal quickly quickly emerged as the favourite to take over at Old Trafford after Moyes was dismissed.
Moyes was the handpicked successor of former United manager Alex Ferguson after his compatriot retired as British football’s most successful boss at the end of last season.
But the former Everton manager struggled to adjust to life at Old Trafford and was dismissed just months into a six-year contract after United failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
They finished the season in seventh place and had to watch their neighbours Manchester City win the title.