LifeBogger presents the Full Story of a Dutch Football Manager best known by the Nickname; ‘The King’.
Our version of Louis van Gaal’s Biography, including his Childhood Story, brings you a full account of notable events from his boyhood days right until he became famous.
The analysis of Louis van Gaal’s Biography involves his history, life story before fame, parents, and family life. More so, many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him.
Now without further ado, let’s Begin.
Louis van Gaal Childhood Story – Early Life and Family Background:
For Biography starters, Aloysius Paulus Maria Louis van Gaal was born on the 8th day of August 1951. He came into the world as the youngest and baby of a big family of nine brothers and sisters.
Growing up, Van Gaal had a troubled relationship with his seriously ill father and, most times, rebelled against his strict Catholic upbringing.
As a child, his life was part of firm discipline and part of pampering. Some suggest his self-assured streak comes from being ‘the baby’ spoiled by four brothers, four sisters, and his loving parents.
However, Van Gaal tells it differently. He believes his home life gave him the discipline central to his coaching ethics.
As a child, his home in Amsterdam home was near the De Meer stadium – Which is Ajax’s ground.
The Van Gaal household had everything ordered, with each child allocated a chore, one to set the table and one to wash the dishes.
Louis was used to the chore of looking after his parent’s shop and peeling a mountain of potatoes needed to feed the family.
Back in the day, Young Louis van Gaal was also tall, and when he scored in street games with his friends, he would shout: ‘Henkie, Henkie, Henkie!’.
Louis van Gaal Biography Facts – Behaviour:
Some of the traits Van Gaal displayed in those kids’ games were still there when he became an adult, including a tendency to overlook his own shortcomings and a lack of patience with others.
It was tough, and even then, he was not a boy for jokes. Life was much too serious. He just wanted to be the best and always win. He gets angry when he loses a match. Even his best pal is scared of him.
According to him..“focused arrogance is the key to my success”. Louis was a serious kid born to be a certified winner.
Louis van Gaal Family Life:
Starting off, His father, a manager with an energy company, inspired the young Louis. ‘My father had the same character as I have,’ he said.
‘He had an open mind. He listened and had the courage to make decisions that were difficult to accept for some. Not to forget, he was a leading figure.’
Van Gaal Snr suffered a heart attack when Louis was six and died five years later when he was 11.
After his father’s death, his mother became the central figure in his life, and his love for her has always been evident.
When he was given the Dutch equivalent of a knighthood, the Order of Orange-Nassau, he made sure she was by his side to share the moment.
Van Gaal said later that it was from her that he inherited his core values of honesty, respect, discipline and responsibility.
Fernanda Obbes – Louis van Gaal’s First Wife:
At the age of 18, Van Gaal met Fernanda Obbes at a Catholic youth group. She was 16 then.
Both parties fell in love. Friends said it was love at first sight as they locked eyes at the Catholic youth society near his home. They married three years later and had two daughters, Brenda and Renate.
Louis van Gaal loved every second of the Catholic church because of her. He loved the sickly sweet, rotting pomegranate smells of the incense. He found a good reason to thank his dad for making him stick to the church.
Louis van Gaal Biography – The Agony:
They were married when Louis was still only 21 and blissfully happy until, in 1994, at the height of his success in his first spell as manager of Ajax, she was taken ill. Doctors diagnosed her with liver and pancreatic cancer.
In his position in charge of Holland’s biggest football club, he had access to all the best doctors and surgeons, but nothing could be done.
Instead, Van Gaal found himself confronted by challenges beyond his control.
While he did his best to tend his wife in private, in public, he had to show iron discipline as Dutch opposing fans mocked his ordeal and did everything they could to bring failure to him.
In Holland, there are two words for a woman. ‘Vrouw’ shows respect for a loving partner. ‘Wijf’ is insulting – translated as something like ‘bitch’.
At one Ajax game, rival fans held a banner referring to his wife’s cancer. The placard read: ‘Van Gaal, heeft een kankerwijf’, which would roughly translate as ‘Van Gaal has a cancer bitch’.
It must have hurt, but he refused to let anybody see his anger. He only requested a private audience.
It was indeed a tough thing to take seeing Ajax’s opponents mocking her even in her illness…Even as she battled for her dear life.
Indeed, there are some things even Louis van Gaal cannot control. A life that has always had hard work, discipline and order as its core values were sent into a whirlwind when her death happened.
That same year in 1994, Obbes died of liver and pancreatic cancer. It was the last time Louis van Gaal ever had to cry.
Reports indicated that she was a heavy smoker. This must have been a possible cause of her death.
Louis van Gaal Untold Bio – Lost Faith in God after Wife’s Death:
In January 1994, when his first wife, Fernanda Obbes died of liver cancer at the age of 39, he almost quit football to look after their two daughters, Brenda and Renate. In the end, it was God whom he gave up on.
Inside his autobiography, Van Gaal recalls: “When I lost Fernanda, it was then that I stopped believing in God and stopped being a Catholic.
This God did not respect the human being and the suffering of my wife. I want nothing to do with a God who lets people suffer this much.” Louis abandoned his faith shortly afterwards.
Fernanda passed away just 16 months before Van Gaal was to turn Ajax into European champions. He added: “I offered to resign as manager at Ajax.
I asked my daughters whether I should quit the game to raise them, but both said they wanted me to carry on and said that would have also been the wish of their mum.”
Who is Truus? Louis van Gaal Wife:
After his first wife’s death, Louis van Gaal met his second wife Truus. They met not long after Fernanda’s death and were partners for 14 years before Louis proposed in 2007.
Louis van Gaal never did the usual when he proposed. He couldn’t go down on one knee – he had a broken leg at the time! They married on his birthday on a cool date- 08-08-08 – as the invitations pointed out.
Truus revealed: ‘‘I wanted to go to Vegas, just the two of us, but Louis wanted a big celebration. He said: “If you have something to celebrate, then celebrate”.
He was right. A secret marriage would have been wrong. The wedding was wonderful. It was important to me, not so important to him.
He always regarded me as his wife, but the media kept referring to me as “Louis’ girlfriend”. I didn’t like that.
When Sir Bobby Robson was sacked in 1997, it appeared his translator-turned-assistant (Jose Mourinho) would be forced out with him.
But 34-year-old Mourinho raged at the club president, Jose Luis Nunez, and Van Gaal liked what he saw.
Sir Bobby asked van Gaal to keep the young man on, and the Dutchman acquiesced. “His anger was fantastic to see,” Van Gaal said. “Then I said: ‘You are my man.’ ”
Yet it was under the Dutchman that Jose Mourinho made his first steps in management.
An eventful three years at the Nou Camp saw domestic success combined with European disappointment – including some famous match-ups with English sides.
By the time the partnership ended, the apprentice had made his first steps on the long road to supplanting his master by trashing him in a match.
Louis van Gaal Biography – Life after Manchester United:
On 17 January 2017, it was announced that Van Gaal had retired “for family reasons”. He later said that it was only a sabbatical.
It is pertinent to note that Truus (his second wife) hated United tight from day one. They could spend more time together after his retirement.
Louis van Gaal Ponzi Scheme Story:
According to The Daily Telegraph, it emerged in 2009 that Van Gaal had lost 5 million pounds investing in fraudster Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
This is a Wall Street guru’s Ponzi scheme. He and various other stars of the international sports world lost fortunes after dealing directly or indirectly with Madoff.
Louis van Gaal Achievements:
Van Gaal dubbed the Iron Tulip for his toughness, has once led the Dutch team to third
in the World Cup.
His Ajax side won the 1995 Champions League, and he lifted the German title with Bayern Munich and Spain’s La Liga with Barcelona.
Sacking Manchester United Most Popular Staff:
The Sun once revealed that players’ much-loved Barry Moorhouse, 64, was once shown the exit door (sacked) by van Gaal for no just course despite spending after 47 years with the club.
He was the Reds’ player liaison manager. Barry Moorhouse started out with the club as a matchdays officer and cashier for the Manchester United Development Association, which was the fundraising arm of the club. He was later moved to the role of Player Adviser.
Louis van Gaal felt he didn’t do his best to take the pressure off his players after losing repeated matches.
Before Van Gaal went down through a sack by the board, he threw the axe first at him. This left the whole United’s management shocked, leading many to pray for his immediate sack as manager.
Louis van Gaal Biography – Issue with Johan Cruyff and Ronald Koeman:
He once had an issue with Dutch legend Johan Cruyff while he was a player. The boss will no longer speak to Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, 67 — a former rival for a place in the Ajax side of the early 1970s. According to close friends, they are still yet to reconcile.
He also clashed with new Southampton boss Ronald Koeman although the pair are said to have patched things up at the World Cup.
Van Gaal once pulled his trousers down in the Munich dressing room to show Bayern
players, he had the balls to stand up to them.
Misjudged questions were met with his trademark putdown: “Am I that smart, or are you that foolish?” he tells any journalist that asks him to justify his actions.
Pals say he does not care about money (someone who have risk and lost over 5 million pounds to a ponzi scheme and still didn’t shake) and is so honest he can never lie. Ruud added: “He is also very trusting, although once you break that trust, you are finished.”
His Ex-schoolfriend Martin Spanjer, 61, said: “Louis can be a little bit strange. I think there are two sides to him — one is very nice and humble, the other thinks he is God.”
Others think he is just misunderstood. Another friend said: “He is hard on the outside
, but the inside of him is much softer.” On television, he is always serious, but around his friends, he has a good sense of humour.
Louis van Gaal once said this; “I am who I am, and I have my own ways. I’m not going to change, and I have no desire to. I am Blunt with the media, as stubborn as a mule, but am also one of the best modern-day coaches and promoters of Total Football.’
Louis van Gaal Biography – Life with Ajax:
Under Louis van Gaal, a conspicuously young Ajax team became the best side in Europe, winning the Champions League and going an entire year unbeaten in the league during the mid-90s.
Van Gaal oversaw the development of the De Boer brothers, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids and Edwin van der Sar.
However, after securing big-money moves thereafter, many of their young players arguably failed to ever fulfil their potential — Patrick Kluivert (father to Justin Kluivert), Winston Bogarde, Michael Reiziger and Finidi George being prime examples.
Van Gaal has an interesting take on why this is: “I think it is logical that players who leave Ajax do not reach their former level elsewhere.
Nobody trains like the way we do, and nowhere are the qualities of the player put in harmony with one another as at Ajax.
Abroad, a player has to once again fend for himself. He is evaluated according to his own qualities and not, as with us, for his value to the team.
At Ajax, individual weaknesses were covered by the team. That is the essence of team building.
He can excel because of the team. Other countries are way behind us in that respect: what matters there is character.”
An old friend of Jordi Alba:
Louis van Gaal with a young Jordi Alba when he was a kid. He met his family while in Barcelona and has been close to them ever since.
Jordi gets so inspired each time Van Gaal calls him for dinner back as a kid. He once tried signing him to United but was directed by the board to sign Luke Shaw instead of him.
Giovanni and Rivaldo’s issue with Louis van Gaal:
He alienated the highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Giovanni after arriving at Barcelona, relegating him to the bench and ultimately causing his departure to Olympiakos.
In 2010, the player had the following to say:
“Van Gaal is arrogant, proud and has a problem. My life with him was horrible. The Brazilians did not want him; he put me down and also fought with Rivaldo and Sonny Anderson. He always gave us the excuse that we were not training well.
I know that he must have some trauma. He has no idea of football and does not know anything. In the time I was with him, he always did the same training.
He’s chaotic.” And of the 2010 Champions League final between Inter and Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich, Giovanni said: “If it were up to me, I would have liked it if Inter won 15-0 with five goals from Lucio.”
During his two spells with Barcelona (the first far more successful than the second), Van Gaal struggled to win over players and supporters, regularly clashing with the media. His rows with the team’s star player Rivaldo were frequent.
“I don’t care for Van Gaal, and he doesn’t care for me,” said Rivaldo.
Managing United with Iron Fist (From Ashley’s view):
Ashley Young has revealed the secret of his teammates’ changing room playlist – and it’s not what you expected.
Young is known for being the resident DJ at the Red Devils, but he admitted to being under strict orders from manager Louis van Gaal to play only house and funky house music.