Giggs named as assistant manager after calling time on 23-year career
NEW Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has vowed to “make history” at Old Trafford after signing a three-year deal to take the reins following this summer’s World Cup.
The 62-year-old, set to lead his native Holland in Brazil, will be assisted by United legend Ryan Giggs, who yesterday announced his retirement from playing after 23 years, 963 games and 34 trophies.
Following two decades of success under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, United fans endured an unfamiliar season of disappointment with David Moyes, but Van Gaal has vowed to bring back the good times.
“This club has big ambitions, I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history,” said Van Gaal, who has won league titles in Holland, Spain and Germany.
“To work as manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud.”
Giggs spent the final four matches of the season as United’s interim-manager following Moyes’s sacking and, in an open letter to supporters, spoke of his admiration for the man he will sit alongside in the dugout next term.
“I am delighted to be working with someone of his calibre,” said Giggs.
“His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership.
“For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions – immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future.”
Top of Van Gaal’s to-do list will be acquiring new central defenders with both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand set to depart for pastures new this summer with their respective contracts expiring.
However, retired winger Bolo Zenden, who worked under Van Gaal at Barcelona, has a tale of caution for any prospective new players. The former Chelsea man witnessed a falling out with Rivaldo shortly after the Brazilian was named World Footballer of the Year in 1999.
Rivaldo told Van Gaal he was unhappy playing on the left wing and would prefer to play behind the strikers. Van Gaal took exception and promptly dropped Rivaldo to the bench leading Zenden to draw comparisons between the Dutchman and Ferguson.
“He’s one of the managers who knows how to deal with the bigger players and when he thinks something is right that’s what he will do,” said Zenden. “It comes close to how Sir Alex Ferguson worked.”
LOUIS’ LEAGUE TITLES
1994, 1995, 1996