Tactical Insights

I can never look sick – I am used to death

Louis van Gaal has revealed that he is ‘used to death’ after he vowed to fight his prostate cancer with the tenacity he showed in his stellar management career.

The former Ajax, Barcelona and Manchester United manager stepped down from his role as head coach of the Netherlands national team after the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 having revealed his cancer diagnosis.

The 72-year-old requires regular radiation therapy and needs to use urine bags, but is determined to retain a sense of perspective and refuses to feel sorry for himself.

Van Gaal has been filming a documentary titled Always Positive in partnership with the Spanish National Cancer Centre, which premieres on Wednesday and is in support of oncological research.

To promote the film, the Dutchman, who was manager of Manchester United between 2014 and 2016, winning the FA Cup in his final game in charge, has given a candid interview to Spanish newspaper AS.

“When I first heard I had cancer I said, “OK, it’s not good news,” explained Van Gaal. “But I better try to do something about it.”

“Each human can react in a different way. That’s why I say: ‘Be yourself.’

“I have been living with the disease for just over three years, with radiation, hormone injections, operations, catheters and urine bags. It’s unbelievable, but I can handle it. I have managed it, and I have been able to do it even working during the last World Cup.

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