Van Gaal: The day ranting Mourinho lost his cool
Published 23:00 21/05/10 By Martin Lipton
Bayern Munich coach Louis Van Gaal recalled his first impression of Jose Mourinho and admitted: “Even then he was a Special One.”
The Dutchman was Mourinho’s boss for three years at Barcelona, employing him on his coaching staff.
A decade later, they go head to head tonight at the Champions League final in Madrid, Van Gaal’s Munich against Mourinho’s Inter.
But while Van Gaal believes in more attractive football than the win-at-all-costs attitude of the former Chelsea boss, he revealed how he had been blown away by his rival’s passion at their first meeting.
Van Gaal said: “Jose is a man I met under Bobby Robson at Barcelona.
“The meeting was when I was to be appointed as the coach. I went into the room and there was Josep Luis Nunes the president, Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho.
“Mourinho thought he’d been promised the youth academy and even that he might be the next manager.
“He was so angry and shouted so much about not being consulted that I was impressed. That day he was a special one and because of that I hired him.”
Van Gaal added: “I learned that day he was special. He told me who he was and we worked together for three years.
“After one year he could have left but he stayed. He was an excellent co-trainer, a substitute coach. He carried out all the analysis for Barcelona and studied all the opponents.
“We have been observing each other ever since and been sending text messages. Little did I know he would be such a great coach.
“He was an excellent coach then, but now he is one of the best in the world. And I don’t think many coaches can make that declaration.”
Van Gaal was asked if Mourinho had the right to consider himself the best coach of his generation.
“He’s 10 years younger than me,” answered Van Gaal. “So in HIS generation, you are right!
“Of course I don’t like to talk about me, but what I learned from the first time I met him was that he was a special one.
“A coach always has to find a way to win and he does. From a tactical point of view that’s good. You also have to be convince your players and that’s part of the art of the coach. That’s why he’s very good.
“My philosophy is to attack, always attack. To win by attacking your opponent on the pitch.
“Mourinho is more defensive, that’s his tactic and the choice you make as a coach. I believe you should always entertain the public.”