Even though there’s a World Cup participation coming for The Netherlands, Louis van Gaal couldn’t keep this secret anymore. Unfortunately, he just revealed he is suffering an aggressive form of prostate cancer that has taken him to endure 25 different radiation treatments.
Although this type of cancer has a very successful survival rate of 90%, Van Gaal revealed that this is a rare type that will be harder to beat. The reason he refused to say anything before was that he didn’t want to distract his players from the task at hand. Now that the team is paired with Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal in Group A, he felt it was time to let the world know about his illness. Van Gaal keeps the hope of beating this disease and he still expects to be the manager who leads the Dutch squad throughout the World Cup in Qatar.
In a two-year spell at Manchester United, Van Gaal led them to FA Cup success in 2016 before he was replaced by Jose Mourinho.
He has also won league titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AZ Alkmaar, and Ajax, where he led the Dutch side to Champions League glory in 1995.
That triumph came just a year after Van Gaal’s first wife, Fernanda Obbes, died after she was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer.
Speaking in an interview to promote a new film about his life, Van Gaal added: “I’ve been through a lot with illnesses, including with my own wife. So that’s just part of life.
“[I] as a human being have probably become richer because of all those experiences.”
Van Gaal is due to be in charge of the Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar in November, with his side in Group A along with Senegal, Ecuador, and the hosts.
Last month he called the decision to hold the tournament in the Gulf country “ridiculous” and said world football governing body Fifa had been solely motivated by “money and commercial interests”.