DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Revitalized at the World Cup, Louis van Gaal might not be ready to call time on his coaching career just yet.
The 71-year-old Van Gaal came out of retirement last year to take charge of the Netherlands for a third time and has led the team to the World Cup quarterfinals, displaying his usual brand of quirkiness off the field and tactical acumen in the dugout.
Having to battle against an aggressive form of prostate cancer hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of one of soccer’s most colorful characters, who maintains he’ll stand down as Netherlands coach after the tournament.
But he hasn’t ruled out moving onto another job, inspired perhaps by the continued presence in soccer management of another Dutch coaching veteran. Last month, Dick Advocaat, who is 75, took charge of Dutch second-tier team ADO Den Haag.
“I’m only doing this job for the country because it’s an emergency situation,” said Van Gaal, who took the position after Frank de Boer was fired following last year’s European Championship. “And I’m committed to (standing down).
“But never say never because we have a wonderful example — Dick Advocaat … This coach is older than I am and just recently took on a job at the second level. If I’m presented with a wonderful challenge, if there’s a country where I think, ’Oh, that’s a marvelous challenge,’ it could well be I perhaps continue to work as a head coach for a bit.”
But what about the fact he is 71?
“I am 71 years old,” Van Gaal said, grinning. “But, of course, I look marvelous, I look incredibly young.”
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80