Former student vs mentor. The narratives write themselves.
Louis van Gaal showed Jose Mourinho how to be a winner at Barcelona... now the master must stop his protege when Chelsea travel to Manchester United
Jose Mourinho snorts in derision and dismisses with a smile the suggestion that it is the first cup he won as a manager. And Patrick Kluivert says he cannot even remember scoring the winning goal.
But Barcelona's 3-0 win over Mataro in the Catalan Cup final of 2000 in the modest Olympic Stadium of Terrassa, nonetheless, remains a match of great significance for today's Manchester United and Chelsea managers.
Though Mourinho has gone on to win more precious silverware, it was the first time he won something in charge of a team and he did so under the tutorship of his mentor and Sunday's opponent Louis van Gaal.
Read rest of article here
Lessons From Van Gaal Were the Making of Mourinho
Ronald de Boer is recalling his time at Barcelona with Jose Mourinho - the days spent sitting in restaurants in Sitges, the beach town close to the city where most of the club's players and staff lived, sipping wine and talking football.
At the time, De Boer was one of Barcelona's star players, Mourinho an assistant coach to Louis van Gaal. Yet De Boer's take on the man who has come to dominate Europe's managerial landscape is surprising. "My first impression was that here was a guy with confidence, but who did not have the makings of a coach or a manager within him at that time," he said.
It is a fascinating and counterintuitive take from De Boer and debunks the assumption that Mourinho was always a great manager in the waiting. Or possibly just confirms that he hid that ambition very well.
It was 1999 and De Boer had been signed - along with his twin brother and fellow midfielder Frank - by Van Gaal for pounds 22?million from Ajax, where the pair had previously worked with the Dutch coach as part of the iconic side who won the Champions League in 1995.
Van Gaal was in his third and, as it turned out, final season in his first stint as Barcelona's coach, having succeeded Sir Bobby Robson, who had been unceremoniously fired despite a hugely successful, trophy-laden campaign in charge.rest of article here
Six degrees of Louis van Gaal: How Jose Mourinho and Europe's other top coaches descend from Manchester United's Dutch coach
You will doubtless be familiar with the game "Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon". The central premise runs thus: so formidable is Bacon's influence on the last generation of American cinema that virtually any Hollywood actor, living or dead, can somehow be linked to Bacon in no more than six steps.
If you were to play a similar game in the world of football, there are a number of names you could start with. You could look at Johan Cruyff or Rinus Michels, architects of the Dutch school in the 1970s. Or the maverick Marcelo Bielsa, currently at Marseille, whose uniquely idiosyncratic approach has won a legion of devotees from Pep Guardiola to Mauricio Pochettino. But one look at the landscape of modern European football is enough to end the discussion. It is a map drawn, above all, by Louis van Gaal.
As Van Gaal prepares to face his former assistant Jose Mourinho for the first time in English football, it is a decent moment to take stock of his dynasty. Whether it is via Mourinho, Guardiola or Frank de Boer, all protégés at Barcelona in the late 1990s, Van Gaal's fingerprints are all over European football.
The current managers of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Liverpool, Zenit St Petersburg, Southampton and Spain Under-21s are all direct or indirect descendants of Van Gaal. In addition to his own success with Ajax in 1995, you could legitimately offer Van Gaal partial credit for six of the last 11 Champions League wins: three for Barcelona, two for Mourinho and one for Bayern Munich - Philipp Lahm believes his influence is still being felt.
Rest of article (with awesome graphic) here. Really worth a read</a>
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho - Every day I'd go home and moan to my wife about Louis van Gaal's methods
It was Van Gaal who encouraged Mourinho to reject offers to be an assistant coach, including one from Newcastle. Van Gaal advised him not to accept anything unless it was as head coach, saying: “You’re ready for that. You’re going to be a star”.
Mourinho originally became Van Gaal’s protégé when Bobby Robson stood down as Barcelona’s head coach in 1997. The pair didn’t know each other and Mourinho expected to be sacked after refusing jobs to coach the B team or to be a part of Robson’s recruitment department. On the day when he was about to pack his bags and leave, he got a surprise offer. “Van Gaal met me and said he wanted me by his side because of the influence I had in the previous coaching team,” Mourinho recalled. rest of article here
Back then at Barcelona. Look at the floppy hair!
Tito Vilanova, Luis Enrique, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola. All under under van Gaal at the time van Gaal recognised Guardiola's coaching instincts even as a player. He always said that Guardiola had the tactics down pat and spoke like a coach to his fellow players even then. Francesc "Tito" Vilanova in the far left was Guardiola's assistant coach. He died from throat cancer April 2014. Guardiola was broken up, and fell out with Barcelona how they handled it, but there's a story for another day.
Kappa! From back in the day
They've met as opposing managers before, at the UEFA Champions League.
I've never seen this picture before (with their legs, I mean).
"A hug before the final," Jose Mourinho said in a text to van Gaal, when they faced each other at the UEFA Champions League final in 2010. "And a hug after the final."
According to news reports, Tottenham had asked van Gaal to be their manager, but van Gaal wasn't sure about coming into the EPL. He spoke with Mourinho before the World Cup, and Mourinho encouraged him to make the leap. Now here we are.
Update! Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea fc
I'm interested in the match because it's a great narrative, tbh. I can't see Chelsea losing, they've been in fine form from the jump, and Manchester United has a dodgy ass defence. Still, it's the narrative and romance that spice up the lot, tbh.