Louis van Gaal, the best talent producer in football history

NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 28: FUSSBALL: AJAX AMSTERDAM 28.02.96, Trainer Louis VAN GAAL (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

On the day of his retirement from football, it’s ideal to speak about Louis van Gaal and his unique talent to spot some of the best players in history.

Louis van Gaal just announced his retirement from football and we need to speak about the incredible legacy that the Dutch manager left, he may not have won several titles throughout his career but his contribution as a talent producer will leave an indelible mark in football history.

Ever since he started his managerial career at Ajax back in 1991, the manager was already quite impressive when he had to scout for talent.

The generation of players that spawned from that lot was perhaps one of the most impressive, the manager helped debut players such as Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, and Nwankwo Kanu amongst others.

With that squad, Van Gaal won the only Champions League trophy of his career in the 1004-94 season and quickly became one of the most desired managers in the world.

His trajectory was about to help the football world in a way that perhaps no other manager in football history has done it, for he would be responsible for bringing some of the greatest talents in modern football history that we have seen.

The Ajax generation went on to build incredible careers, with many of those players following Van Gaal on his journey at FC Barcelona.

The Barcelona years and the spawn of the Golden Generation.

By the time that Van Gaal took Sir Bobby Robson’s spot at FC Barcelona, the Dutch manager arrived with a Catalan club in complete shambles as they were even struggling to compete for all the trophies right in the middle of Real Madrid’s Champions League revival era.

Louis knew that he wasn’t going to compete for that trophy but he could at least help the Catalan club set the first foundations of a generation that could bring something important in the future, thus he handed the debut to four players who were the cornerstone of the best FC Barcelona in football history.

The Dutch manager gave Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi Hernandez their professional debuts. We all know how that story turned up, these guys were also part of Spain’s most prolific era and Van Gaal’s name will be associated with them forever.

But the Dutch manager still wasn’t done with his career, he wanted to make an impact in football and decided to move to Germany as the new Bayern Munich manager after a four-year successful spell for AZ Alkmaar in which he didn’t debut players who made a massive impact on the world of football.

The Bayern Munich and Manchester United years

When he arrived in Germany to coach Bayern Munich, Van Gaal continued with his incredible eye to spot talent and handed debuts for David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, and Thomas Muller.

The ladder was an integral part of the 2014 World Cup German champions in Brazil and came very close to becoming the all-time leading scorer of the competition, Louis is also credited of using Bastian Schweinsteiger in a whole new position during his professional career.

When he started playing for Bayern, the Germain player began as a winger but Van Gaal quickly saw his untapped potential as a defensive midfielder.

After moving on from Bayern Munich, Louis coached the Netherlands for two years and reached the 2014 World Cup semifinals, which he lost against Argentina in a very dramatic penalty shootout.

His final club was Manchester United between 2014 and 2016, he debuted big names such as Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, and Marcos Rashford in what is known as the last great generation of players that the Dutch manager helped become professional players.

There hasn’t really been a manager with the type of eye for talent such as Louis van Gaal, there may never be another one quite like him.

How would you describe Louis van Gaal’s career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.


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