Louis van Gaal is coming back into football management to take charge of the Netherlands national team. It will be his third stint as head coach after leading the Dutch from 2000 to 2001, and then from 2012 to 2014.

Louis Van Gaal - The Netherlands
Louis van Gaal returns to football management after a 5-year break, hoping to lead the Netherlands to success at the World Cup in Qatar. (Image: Twitter/onsoranje)

The 69-year-old manager signed a contract until the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup and replaces Frank de Boer at the helm of the Netherlands football team.

“Dutch football has always been close to my heart and national coaching is in my view a key position for the further advancement of our football,” van Gaal told the Dutch FA website. “I consider it an honor to coach the Dutch national team. There is little time for the next qualifying matches, which are immediately crucial for the participation in the World Cup,” van Gaal said.

Van Gaal said he’s already contacted several players and staff members on the national team to tell them about his return. “I am very much looking forward to getting the job done together,” he added.

Van Gaal returns to management after five years

Before agreeing to come back, van Gaal took a long break from football. He stopped working as a manager after being replaced by Jose Mourinho at Manchester United in 2016. Previously, he worked at the club level for the likes of FC Barcelona, Ajax, and Bayern Munich.

Van Gaal led the Netherlands to the semifinals of the World Cup in 2014, where the Dutch took third place in Brazil. The Dutch beat Brazil 3-0 and defeated the then world champions Spain 5-1 in that tournament. In his life as a club coach, van Gaal won the Champions League with Ajax and domestic championships in Spain, Germany, and his native Netherlands. At Manchester United, he won the FA Cup in 2016.

The Netherlands is currently second in their qualifying group for the World Cup in Qatar. After three games in Group G, they are on six points, behind Turkey (7). The Turkish won against the Dutch 4-2 in Istanbul at the start of the qualifying campaign. Montenegro, Norway, Latvia, and Gibraltar are also part of Group G. The top team in each group will go straight to the final tournament, with the second-place teams having to enter the playoffs.

Group G qualifiers world cup
The Netherlands are second in Group G, behind Turkey, in the European Qualifiers for the World Cup in 2022. (Image: soccerway.com)

If you want to invest your money in advance of the 2022 World Cup, know that Brazil is the favorite to win the Qatar event at +500. World champions France are next, at +500, then England follows at +800, with Spain behind at +900. Germany is at +1000, while European champions Italy are at +1100, just like Belgium. Messi’s Argentina is at +1200. Portugal at +1400, and the Netherlands at +1600 round out the top 10.