Barcelona legends Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez labeled Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal ‘fantastic’, ‘ahead of his time’, and a ‘special’ manager, after he gave both men their Barcelona debuts.
Van Gaal has been under pressure for making a few wrong decisions since he took over Manchester United last season, but the former Barcelona midfielder thinks that the criticism isn’t in it’s right place.
‘They criticise him on a human level because he is very direct or because he seems arrogant,’ Xavi told Diario Sport in Doha, where he now plays for Al Sadd.
‘But you have to know him as a coach on a day-to-day basis. For me he is fantastic.
‘He was ahead of his time back then; he worked to perfect the training sessions and improve the team technically and tactically – 20 years ago he was a very complete coach.
‘In time he will do a very good job at Manchester United. He will make them very strong in the Premier League and in the Champions League. He will do a great job.’
Xavi was handed his debut in 1998 and his positive comments were echoed by Iniesta, who the Dutch coach put in the first team when he was still just 17.
Iniesta said: ‘He has been a fundamental person in my career and a key coach in my development.
‘He gambled on me as a player when there were some really big name players in front of me and that’s why he will always be special to me.’
Plenty might not agree with Iniesta and Xavi but Louis Van Gaal’s achievements speak for themselves.