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Louis van Gaal has 'mixed feelings' over winning Dutch coach award

Louis van Gaal admitted he was bemused to be named the Dutch Coach of the Year when receiving the award.

Van Gaal, who left his post as Netherlands boss in the summer to take over Manchester United, picked up the prestigious prize on Tuesday night but insisted he was surprised to be chosen because his Oranje team did not win the World Cup in Brazil.

Netherlands, who beat defending champions Spain 5-1 in the group stage, finished third in Brazil and their only defeat came on penalties to Argentina in the semifinals.

But Van Gaal said at the ceremony in Amsterdam: "What do you say? I'm standing here with mixed feelings. We ended in third place, in a room full of eight Olympic champions and 28 world champions here tonight. Maybe I've won this award because of the media."

Van Gaal and Van Persie were both winners at the awards for their World Cup exploits.

Netherlands were also named the Team of the Year while Arjen Robben became the first footballer to be named the Sportsman of the Year since Ruud Gullit in 1987. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was the recipient of the Dutch Sports Moment of the Year award for his stunning diving header against Spain in Brazil.

And Van Gaal added: "I wasn't sure if I should turn up here tonight because footballers usually never win these kind of awards but, in the end, I thought that you should always go if you are nominated and now I'm standing here as the winner."

Van Gaal was also named Dutch Coach of the Year in 2009 after helping AZ Alkmaar win the Eredivisie.


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