Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has revealed that he has prostate cancer and has been treated, but he intends to lead his squad in the World Cup in Qatar in seven months.
On Sunday, the 70-year-old Dutchman told RTL television that the players “are unaware,” adding that he had endured 25 rounds of radiation, including during training camps with the Dutch national team.
The players believe he is in excellent condition, but he is not, according to the former manager of Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Ajax, who started therapy last year after his diagnosis in 2020.
“It’s a part of my existence,” he continued in an interview announcing the imminent release of Louis, a documentary about his life. “I’ve gone through so much in my life, disease, and death, that I’m sure I’ve grown in wisdom as a result of all those experiences.”
Van Gaal is on his third tenure as head coach of the Dutch national team, which was drawn into Group A with hosts Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal in Friday’s World Cup draw.
United, where he served as manager from 2014 to 2016, was among those wishing him a swift recovery.
“Every single member of staff at Manchester United is entirely supportive of our former manager, Louis van Gaal, in his struggle with cancer. Louis, I send you strength and bravery “The Premier League team announced the news through Twitter.
Barcelona, where he won the Spanish league twice as manager, tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Louis van Gaal, the former Barcelona manager… Maintain your strength, Louis, and we wish you a speedy recovery.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to former Barça manager Louis van Gaal, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stay strong, Louis, and get well soon. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/uE5SzstOHR— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 3, 2022
Van Gaal rejoined the Dutch national team after Frank de Boer’s departure following the country’s humiliating last-16 defeat in Euro 2020.
The uncomplicated Van Gaal led the Oranje from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2012 to 2014, during which time they came third in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Dutch failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea during Van Gaal’s first tenure as manager. He later became manager of Manchester United but was fired two days after the team won the FA Cup in 2016.
Between 1997 and 2000, he won two La Liga championships with Barcelona. He returned to the Spanish giants in 2002 but was released early the following year due to an unproductive stint.
From 2009 to 2011, he was also in charge of Bayern Munich.
“In the majority of situations, we do not die of prostate cancer. Typically, these are underlying conditions that may be deadly in patients with this kind of cancer “Van Gaal said.