Xavi and Andres Iniesta heap praise on Louis van Gaal

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Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been lauded by some of the greatest players in the game, including Barcelona maestro Xavi. 

The 35-year-old was speaking alongside team-mate Andres Iniesta and Clarence Seedorf, all of whom took part in a MUTV documentary about the Dutch coach that will be screened tonight. 


Van Gaal took over at Manchester United at the start of the season and after a slow start has turned things around and they now look on course to claim Champions League qualification. Van Gaal has previously had two spells with Barcelona, during which he gave both Xavi and Iniesta their big breaks in the first team, while he claimed the Champions League at Ajax in 1995, where he worked with Seedorf.

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"For sure he is a coach who knows how to pass on his philosophy on his teams,' said the former Dutch midfielder.  'And I think what you have seen that with the Ajax spirit when I played there - that's Van Gaal.


'Instead of buying many players you can always fill your first team with your own players who know the club culture, who know the club tactics and have lived for so long that everything for them is natural. He is a great coach and his record speaks for itself.'

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Both Iniesta and Xavi were equally as gushing about their former boss, who helped Barcelona win La Liga in 1998 - the season in which Xavi made his debut - and 1999. 

"Well my personal experience with him was great," said Xavi. "He gave me the opportunity to join the first team and he gave me a lot of confidence the whole time. I worked with him and he really put his faith in me. He pushed me into the first team at 17 and helped me so much through that difficult journey.


Iniesta added: "I was 17 years of age and delighted to be in the first team, and he gave me that opportunity. I knew that he had always done tremendous work with the young players. I was excited to work with him and take such an important step in my career. He's hard working, honest, sincere. Above all, he's a hugely successful manager who's done great things in the game."

Manchester United picked up consecutive wins against fellow top-four hopefuls Tottenham and Liverpool before the international break, which has put them five points clear of Brendan Rodgers' side in fourth place. 

Next up for them is a showdown against Aston Villa, while Liverpool face a tough tie against Arsenal.


Van Gaal has been rightly chastised this season - the crippling loss against Leicester, the two defeats against Swansea and the FA Cup exit against Arsenal were all low points - but he looks as though he's turned things around. 

Despite the wins against Tottenham and Liverpool he's not over the line yet and Manchester United have perhaps the toughest run-in of the lot. Interestingly at the start of the season Ed Woodward said he expected Van Gaal to guide his side into third place given the £150 million they spent. So while he deserves some praise if he gets them to fourth, it's not the time go overboard on it just yet.

Do you think Van Gaal should be sacked if he doesn't get Champions League qualification?

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Premier League
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal

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