Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind has confessed his pride at being named Amsterdam's Sportsman of the Year - in what has been the best year of his career by some margin.
Blind played a pivotal role in Holland's World Cup campaign, notably assisting Robin van Persie's wonder header in their 5-1 win over European champion, Spain.
The £14 million star, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury picked up on international duty, also helped Ajax win the Dutch Eredivisie before joining the Red Devils in the summer.
Blind established himself as Holland's first choice left-back under Van Gaal, who he has played more of a midfield role for since joining Manchester United.
That is where the initial bond between Blind and Van Gaal came from, with the United manager expressing his determination to bring the 24-year-old to Old Trafford.
And, Blind was starring for his national team yet again, when he picked up his current injury in the side's 6-0 battering of Latvia last month.
When the Amsterdam-born man first picked up the injury, it was initially feared that he could face up to six months on the sidelines due to a knee ligament problem. However, it has since been acknowledged that although he will be out until the New Year, it will not be six months.
While admitting the Dutch star is not ready to play, the United boss insisted he will not be out for as long as first feared.
"It is not so bad as the doctor thought after the match but it shall be a long story, I believe - but not six months or something like that," the 63-year-old said.
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