Patrick Kluivert has named Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal as the coach who had the biggest influence on his career.
Kluivert played under van Gaal at Ajax and Barcelona before signing for Newcastle in 2004 and was one of the youngsters who broke through in van Gaal’s famous Champions League winning side.
At the tender age of 18, Kluivert was given his debut against arch rivals Feyenoord in the Dutch Super Cup and made all the difference with a goal in the 85th minute of the 1995 Champions League final against AC Milan having been brought on as a substitute.
The 38-year-old also worked as an assistant under van Gaal in the Netherlands national team set-up at last summer’s World Cup.
Van Gaal has clearly had a major influence on Kluivert’s career so it was no surprise to see him praise the current Man United boss while taking over Heineken’s Twitter account:
— Heineken (@Heineken) February 24, 2015
Van Gaal famously fell out with Brazilian striker Rivaldo while the pair were at Barcelona but a host of his former players have also praised the effect he had on their careers.
This seasonm there have been no players that have publicly criticised the 63-year-old despite some questionable decisions. Ander Herrera and Juan Mata, for instance, have often been left on the bench.
Contrast this to last season where a number of players such as Rio Ferdinand had criticised David Moyes in the press. It is refreshing then to see a United manager have an element of control and respect from his players.