Dutch coach Van Gaal says he has prostate cancer

THE HAGUE – The coach of the Netherlands national soccer team, Louis van Gaal, has announced he is being treated for an aggressive form of prostate cancer but still plans to lead the team at the World Cup in Qatar in November.

Van Gaal said on Sunday night’s Dutch talk show Humberto that the team’s players were unaware of his diagnosis, despite receiving overnight treatment during four training camps.

“You don’t tell people you work with stuff like that because it might affect their decisions or their energy or whatever, and I thought, ‘They shouldn’t know,'” he said.

He said he underwent 25 radiation therapy treatments.

“I was in the hospital at all times in the evening or night without the players knowing,” said the 70-year-old coach.

Van Gaal lost his first wife to cancer.

“It’s part of life. I’ve experienced so much with illness and death, in my own family, my wife,” he said. “I’ve probably been enriched as a person by all the experiences I’ve had with it.”


Van Gaal is in his third stint as manager of the Netherlands. He led the team to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He has also coached clubs such as Barcelona, ​​​​Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Ajax and led the Amsterdam club to the 1995 Champions League title.

He did not take part in last week’s World Cup draw in Qatar after testing positive for COVID-19. The Netherlands were drawn against Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador. Ahead of the draw, Van Gaal said it was ridiculous that the tournament would be held in Qatar.

Manchester United posted support for Van Gaal on Twitter.

“Everyone at Manchester United is wholeheartedly behind our former manager Louis van Gaal in his battle with cancer. Sending you strength and courage Louis,” the club wrote.

UEFA also tweeted best wishes, and official Dutch fansite Ons Oranje tweeted an orange heart over a photo of Van Gaal.



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Dais Johnston

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