Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is suffering from prostate cancer and is receiving treatment. On Sunday, the Dutchman, who is now in charge of the Netherlands national team, made the revelation on the Dutch television show Humberto.
Van Gaal, 70, also said that the cancer is in "aggressive" form. However, he said that he intends to continue leading the Dutch team at this year's World Cup. Van Gaal was also the manager of Bayern Munich and Ajax earlier. Van Gaal guided Manchester United to FA Cup victory in 2016 during his two-year stint at the club before being replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Fighting a Deadly Disease
On Sunday, Van Gaal told RTL TV show 'Humberto' that he has been receiving treatment while still training the Dutch team, but that he has not informed his players of his health. "I think you don't tell people you work with like that because it might influence their choices, their decisiveness, so I thought they shouldn't know," he said.
"You don't die from prostate cancer, at least not in 90% of the cases. It is usually other underlying diseases that kill you. But I had a pretty aggressive form, got irradiated 25 times. Then you have a lot of management to do in order to get through life," he added.
Van Gaal will manage the Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, and he revealed that he has taken 25 treatments in the hopes of overcoming his condition.
"I did have preferential treatment in the hospital. I was allowed in through the back door when I went to an appointment and was immediately pushed into another room. I have been treated wonderfully. You will of course tell your friends and relatives about it. The fact that nothing has come out yet also says something about my environment. That's great."
Support for the Fighter
It is not known if his former club Manchester United and the authorities of the Netherlands national team knew about his cancer and treatment but have shown their support following the revelation.
"Everybody at Manchester United is fully behind our former manager, Louis van Gaal, in his battle against cancer. Sending you strength and courage, Louis," United tweeted in response to the news.
Van Gaal is in charge of the Dutch national team for the third time, having previously led the team to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup before joining Manchester United. The Netherlands have been drawn in Group A for this year's World Cup, alongside hosts Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal, with whom they will play in the tournament's first encounter on November 21 in Doha.
The Dutchman returned to Barcelona for a second spell after a brief stint with his national side, although this time for only six months. He subsequently went on to win the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar before returning to the Oranje and leading them to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Van Gaal is widely regarded as one of the finest coaches of his generation, having led Ajax to back-to-back Champions League finals and a 1995 title. After that, he won two La Liga titles with Barcelona before taking over as manager of the Netherlands for the first time.