Louis van Gaal will be Ajax's new technical director. He will start on 1 November with Ajax on the position that had been vacant since Leo Beenhakker left for Mexico. Ajax and Van Gaal have an agreement for an indefinite period. As usual, Ajax do not disclose financial details of the agreement.
Ajax's Chairman John Jaakke is very pleased with Louis van Gaal as the club'stechnical director. Jaakke: We have been very careful with the appointment. Ajax have taken extensive time to properly fill the position of technical director. The choice for Louis van Gaal is one with great concensus and guarantees the continuity of the policy.
Arie van Eijden, managing director of Ajax, is also very happy with Van Gaal's appointment: With Louis van Gaal the policy that was started three years ago will receive an extra impulse. It will not be a new policy. Louis will work with Danny Blind to further refine Ajax's youth development program. Louis will be the link between the Amsterdam ArenA and De Toekomst.
With Louis van Gaal, Ajax again have the man who delivered the club the victory in 1995's Champions League. The position that Van Gaal will fill with Ajax, means the end of a very successful career as a coach. Van Gaal: You can read back my interviews. I have always said that I wanted to stop coaching at 55. It turned out to be a little sooner than that.
Louis van Gaal is 52 years old. He was born on 8 August 1951 in Amsterdam. Van Gaal: I am returning back home. This is my club. For now I will start quietly. I want to find my way about first.
Ajax's coach Ronald Koeman: The fact that Louis van Gaal returns is good for the club and for myself. I strongly feel that this position is a final station in his career. He has finished his active coaching career. I see his presence as something that can help me.
Danny Blind, head of Ajax's youth department, echoes that feeling. Blind: I have had the most successful time of my career with Louis van Gaal as the coach. I am excited to work with him and further build Ajax's future.
Under Louis van Gaal Ajax grew to be Europe's model team of the nineties. Next to winning the Champions League and reaching the Champions League final in 1996, Ajax also won the world cup in 1995 and the European Super Cup in 1996. The final victory in 1992's UEFA Cup tournament started the string of successes.
Louis van Gaal succeeded Leo Beenhakker in 1991 as coach of Ajax. On a national level, Ajax were superior for years with Van Gaal as the team's coach. The Amsterdam team won the Cup in 1993. Subsequently, Ajax won the national title and Supercup in 1993, 1994 and 1995. In 1996 Ajax won their final league title under Van Gaal.
Louis van Gaal left Ajax in 1997 and went on to coach Spanish side FC Barcelona to several national titles. He was also Holland's national team coach, but did not qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Last season he served a second, shorter stint as Barca's coach.