Cape Town - 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 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.
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 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.
Louis van Gaal fact file:
1951 — Born August 8 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1972 — Signs as a professional with Ajax Amsterdam but does not break into the first team.
1977 — After spells at Antwerp and Telstar, joins Sparta Rotterdam.
1986 — Works as player-assistant coach under Han Berger, then Hans Eijkenbroek at AZ Alkmaar.
1987 — Retires from playing but continues as assistant to coach Eijkenbroek at AZ.
1988 — Appointed assistant to coach Leo Beenhakker at Ajax.
1991 — Takes over as Ajax coach after Beenhakker leaves for Real Madrid. Wins UEFA Cup in first season.
1993 — Wins the Dutch Cup with Ajax.
1994 — Wins the first of three straight Dutch league titles with Ajax.
1995 — Wins the Champions League with Ajax, beating AC Milan 1-0 in the final in Vienna. Also wins the league title, UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup in the same year.
1997 — Appointed coach of Barcelona, succeeding Bobby Robson, winning successive Spanish league titles in his first two seasons, as well as the 1997 UEFA Super Cup and 1998 Copa del Rey.
2000 — Leaves Barcelona after finishing second to Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league and is appointed coach of the Netherlands.
2002 — Resigns as Netherlands coach after failing to qualify for the World Cup, replaced by Guus Hiddink. Returns to Barcelona in July but is fired six months later with the club 12th in the Spanish league.
2004 — Has a brief spell as Ajax technical director.
2005 — Appointed coach of AZ Alkmaar, taking the team to second in the league in his first season, then third the year after.
2008 — Threatens to resign as AZ coach after an 11th-place finish, but stays at the club and wins his fourth career Dutch title the following season.
2009 — Appointed coach of Bayern Munich, replacing Jupp Heynckes, and wins the German league and cup double in his first season.
2010 — Named coach of the year by the Association of German Sports Journalists.
2011 — Fired as Bayern coach with the team fourth in the Bundesliga, following reports of disagreements with players and management.
2012 — Rejoins the Netherlands national side as coach, leading the team unbeaten through qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
2014 — Dutch Football Association confirms Van Gaal will be replaced as Netherlands coach by Hiddink following the World Cup. Hired as Manchester United manager.