Christophe Dugarry reveals how Louis van Gaal made his life a "living hell" at Barcelona

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Christophe Dugarry has revealed how former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal made his life a "living hell" at Barcelona.

The 44-year-old, who went on to win both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 200 with France, spent just one year at the Nou Camp during the 1997-98 campaign and only made seven appearances for the Spanish club.

Van Gaal managed Barca from 1997 to 2000, winning two La Liga titles in that time, before returning for a second spell in 2002, however Dugarry's reminiscence suggests the Dutch boss is severely lacking in man-management skills.


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The talented French playmaker claims that Van Gaal was a nightmare to play under, he would mark out his mistakes in the dressing room using water bottles, and the way he was treated resulted in him pretending to cry in order to try and force a move away.

Talking on French television channel SFR Sport, Dugarry said, via The Sun, "Van Gaal told me 'in the 23rd minute, you lost this ball. In the 48th minute, you lost the ball again. And in the 53rd minute, you lost another ball. Why did you do that?'

"And I had to answer. I spent six months asking myself what I was doing there. It was surreal. The worst thing was when I went to his office to ask to leave.

"I had to leave at any cost, and what's more, Jacquet (the then-France coach) had said we had to be first-choice at our clubs on the first day of 1998."

He continued, "I pretended to cry, saying 'I can't take anymore, I have to leave'. And he just looked at me and said: 'No, you can't leave. I believe in you.' What? You believe in me and you make me play as a defensive midfielder? It was a horrible six months. I went through hell."

Dugarry would eventually get his wish when he left the Catalan giants after an ill-fated season to join Marseille in his homeland, where he scored eight goals and played over seven times as many matches as he did under Van Gaal.

Meanwhile, Van Gaal took charge of Man United in 2014 on the back of a highly successful World Cup campaign with the Netherlands, however things did not go entirely to plan.

The 65-year-old did get the Red Devils back into the Champions League at the first time of asking, however they crashed out of the competition at the group stage the following year.

He ended his reign at Old Trafford by winning the FA Cup, but he will probably be remembered for the slow, boring and unimaginative style of possession-based football which United displayed in his second season and setting an unwanted club record for fewest goals scored in a Premier League campaign.

What do YOU make of Van Gaal's management style? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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