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Louis van Gaal appointed by Man United

Retiring Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has backed his former boss Louis Van Gaal to be the next Manchester United manager.

Louis van Gaal has been appointed Manchester United's new manager with Ryan Giggs as his assistant.

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Van Gaal, 62, will take charge of the English giants on a three-year contract following the end of Netherlands' World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told the club's official website: "In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today. He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story.

"Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club's history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us.

"People know him as a larger-than-life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Player-coach Giggs was installed as interim manager for the final four games of the season but was not considered a contender for the position on a permanent basis due to his lack of coaching experience.

However, he will work as the Dutchman's assistant, with Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout also named as part of the coaching team. Hoek will replace Chris Woods as goalkeeping coach, while Bout will become an assistant coach with particular responsibility for scouting.

Woodward added: "I'm delighted that Louis has chosen Ryan as his assistant. Ryan's association with the club spans over two decades and his knowledge and stature will be of great use to Louis. In addition, this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan to learn his trade alongside a world-class manager whose attacking instincts and belief in youth are tailor-made for Manchester United."

Van Gaal becomes the first non-British or Irish manager ever appointed at Old Trafford and replaces David Moyes, who was sacked on April 22 after 296 days in charge.

The 62-year-old said: "It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I'm sure we will make history."

He had emerged as the favourite for the role soon after Moyes' dismissal, with United keen to look at a range of candidates but working in the knowledge that it would be difficult to prise other managers away from elite clubs.

He meets United's demands for a manager with a track record of winning and a history of dealing with major players. Van Gaal has managed four other clubs -- Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich -- and won league titles with all. He also won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and reached the final as Bayern manager in 2010.

United's joint chairman Joel Glazer said: "I am delighted that Louis will be our next manager. He has an outstanding pedigree as a coach, both as a man who motivates his teams to win trophies and as someone who believes in giving young players a chance to prove their worth. I am sure he will make a big impression on the club, the players and the fans."

United have just endured their worst season for a quarter of a century last term as they finished seventh -- outside the top four for the first time in the Premier League era -- and missed out on a place in European competition. 

Van Gaal is expected to have a large transfer budget, of around 150 million pounds, to spend on overhauling a squad that is set to lose several senior players this summer.

Co-chairman Avram Glazer said: "Louis joins us at an exciting time and has already communicated some great ideas for how the club can move forward. The board is right behind him in his plans and everyone here is already looking forward to the start of next season."


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