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Former Manchester United boss shares update on Cancer battle



Former Manchester United boss shares update on Cancer battle

Louis van Gaal, the former Manchester United manager, has provided an update on his health two years after revealing his diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer. The 72-year-old Dutchman, who resigned from his third stint as Netherlands boss after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has been undergoing radiation treatment and using a urine bag as part of his battle against the disease.

Van Gaal is currently working on a documentary titled “Always Positive” alongside Maria Blasco, the director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre. The film aims to support oncological research. In an interview with Spanish outlet AS, van Gaal discussed how he is coping with the disease, the treatment he is receiving, and his unique perspective on life and death.

Reflecting on whether the cancer has altered his outlook on life, van Gaal said:

“Not much, really. Look, I come from a family in which we are nine brothers. I am the smallest. My father died when I was 11 years old. He died at 53. My first wife died when she was 39. And all my brothers died too soon. I’m used to death. That’s why I know that death is a part of life, and you can deal with it.

“When I first heard I had cancer I said, ‘Okay, it’s not good news, but I better try to do something about it.’ Each human can react in a different way. That’s why I say: ‘Be yourself.'”

Van Gaal, who managed Manchester United between 2014 and 2016 and won the FA Cup in his final season, took a five-year hiatus from management before returning to lead the Netherlands in 2021. He had been battling the disease for over a year before publicly announcing it, maintaining a healthy appearance while managing his national team.

“I have always looked very young, that is the reason for my good appearance,” he said, laughing. “My mother was dying and until the last moment she had her face like a flower. No one could see that she was sick. And I have the same problem. Or the same luck.

“I have been living with the disease for just over three years, with radiation, hormone injections, operations, catheters and urine bags. It’s unbelievable, but I can handle it. I have managed it, and I have been able to do it even working during the last World Cup.

“I even think that during the World Cup I managed it even better, because I had a goal. And with the cancer process it happens just like with the process of being a coach, you look for a goal. For me it was positive to deal with both things.”