Van Gaal receiving treatment for prostate cancer
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has announced he is receiving treatment for prostate cancer.
The 70-year-old, who was in charge of Manchester United between 2014 and 2016, has already said that he will step down from his third spell with the national team after the 2022 World Cup. He has previously managed Ajax, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich in a sparkling career.
Speaking about the disease on the Dutch television programme Humberto on Sunday, Van Gaal said: “I didn't want to tell it to my players because it could have influenced their performances.
“In each period during my time as manager of the national team I had to leave in the night to go to the hospital without the players finding it out until now. While thinking I was healthy, but... I am not.”
Van Gaal’s first wife, Fernanda Obbes, died of liver and pancreatic cancer in 1994. The year after, Van Gaal won his first Champions League with his legendary Ajax side.
“I've been through a lot with illnesses, including with my own wife,” he added. “So that's just part of life. (I) as a human being have probably become richer because of all those experiences.”
Former club United sent a message of support on Sunday night, tweeting: “Everybody at Manchester United is fully behind our former manager, Louis van Gaal, in his battle against cancer.
“Sending you strength and courage Louis.”
On Friday, Van Gaal’s Netherlands side was drawn in Group A alongside Qatar, Senegal, and Ecuador. Earlier last week, he called FIFA’s decision to host the World Cup in Qatar, which is controversial for the reasons outlined in this article, a “bulls**t' decision”.