‘If they call me, I’ll listen’: Louis van Gaal hints at possible international comeback as manger of Portugal after the former Man Utd coach ends third stint in charge of the Netherlands
Louis van Gaal has left the door open for a return to international coaching if the Portugal FA want to talk to him about their vacant manager’s post.
The Dutchman’s third spell in charge of the Netherlands ended after their World Cup exit, with the side undefeated in normal time during Van Gaal’s twenty matches in charge.
Their exit came by the way of a penalty shoot-out defeat to eventual winners Argentina in the quarter-finals, and it brought the curtain down on Van Gaal’s time in charge of the national team.
Louis van Gaal has hinted he come be tempted back into a international management role
However, the 71-year-old, who successfully fought off prostate cancer earlier this year, has hinted that he may not be done with the international scene after speaking on a Dutch radio phone-in show.
Van Gaal phoned the DJs of 3FM Serious Request n the Glass House in Amersfoort to make a donation to the radio station’s charity drive and was asked about his future plans – and links to the Portugal role.
‘I’m retired again,’ Van Gaal began his reply. ‘But if they call me, I’ll listen,’ he added. ‘That’s all I can say.’
The Dutch coach ended his third spell in charge of the Netherlands following their World Cup exit at the hands of Argentina
Portugal parted ways with Fernando Santos after events in Qatar, ending an eight-year stint with the national team that saw him win Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.
However, following Portugal’s quarter-final exit to Morocco and his decision to bench captain Cristiano Ronaldo for both knockout games, the Portuguese called time on his spell in charge.
Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas and Paulo Fonseca have been linked with the job, but Van Gaal could be an attractive option given his experience of international football with the Netherlands.
Fernando Santos was removed from his post following Portugal’s quarter-final exit to Morocco
Van Gaal has also been linked with replacing Roberto Martinez as the new manager of Belgium
The former Manchester United manager also said he hadn’t been angling for the Belgium job either, and his previous comments about the role vacated by Roberto Martinez had come because he was asked about the vacancy.
‘That was not a flirt, questions were asked about it,’ he added. ‘I can’t help that, I have to answer that. I’m not flirting with Portugal right now either.’
Van Gaal has an extensive coaching record dating back to his first post at Ajax in 1991. Since then, as well as his three spells in charge of his country and his two seasons at Old Trafford, he has also coached both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Louis Van Gaal (centre) was undefeated in his twenty games in charge of the Netherlands