The Hague - Firebrand
manager Louis van Gaal has announced his retirement from professional
football after more than three decades, citing "family reasons," a Dutch
newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"I don't believe I'll return back to work," Van Gaal told popular
daily tabloid De Telegraaf, which added he is "definitely drawing a line
under his training career."
The man nicknamed the "Iron Tulip" has received dozens of lucrative
offers since his unceremonial axing from Manchester United last year,
including a three-year contract in the East, most likely China, which
would pay an estimated €50 million over three
years, the paper said.
"I could have taken the contract," Van Gaal told the paper. "But I'm
still here. So much has happened within my family and it has become time
to face facts."
Flamboyant and outspoken, Van Gaal, 65, found himself in the midst of
a family drama after the husband of one of his daughters unexpectedly
passed away, De Telegraaf said.
Despite winning the FA Cup last year - United's first major
silverware since the retirement of legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson -
Van Gaal was given the boot in May.
He said then he was contemplating taking another manager's job.
"I said I would stop, but then cleverly called it a 'sabbatical'. But
now I don't believe I'll return to work," Van Gaal told De Telegraaf on
receiving a lifetime achievement award in The Hague on Monday.
"Actually I wanted to stop after the (FIFA) World Cup," in Brazil in
2014, where Van Gaal's Dutch side ended third behind Argentina and
"Then suddenly England called. It was a beautiful country I did not yet have on my CV," he said.
Winning the FA Cup with the Red Devils "was the greatest achievement of my career," he added.
Asked whether he has realised all his dreams, the man often known for
his blunt answers during press conferences said: "I have achieved
everything during my lifetime."
"I don't want to brag about all the countries where I've worked, and
the level of clubs I've coached, but for me there's really nothing else
left (to do)," Van Gaal said.