“I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager.”
Wayne Rooney has said that Louis van Gaal was the best coach he worked under during his playing career.
Rooney played the majority of his Manchester United career under Alex Ferguson, who signed him from Everton for £25.6m in 2004. Under Ferguson, the former England captain won five Premier League titles and the Champions League.
However, according to Rooney, Van Gaal was “by far” the best coach he has had – even if the pair’s together time at Old Trafford wasn’t overly successful.
“Van Gaal is by far the best coach I have worked with – one hundred per cent,” Rooney told The Mirror.
“His tactical skills, his way of preparing and his attention to the finest of details, I found amazing. I admired that in him. I had never looked at stuff like that before.”
“Van Gaal knows that the way he works is tough for players,” continued the DC United striker.
“I made him aware of that at the time and we talked about this very well together.
“I regret how it all ended, yet I know one thing for sure – I have learnt a lot from him and I am definitely going to use those lessons for when I am a manager.”
Van Gaal was United manager between 2014 and 2016. The Dutchman guided the club back into the Champions League after the failure of David Moyes’ brief reign. The following season, United finished fifth – missing out on Champions League qualification on goal difference – and won the FA Cup against Crystal Palace. Van Gaal was sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho following the final at Wembley.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said recently that Rooney was “over the hill” when he arrived at the Old Trafford, but he was still one of his best players.
“You can say nothing about his professionalism as a player in the training sessions or on a pitch,” Van Gaal told The Guardian about Rooney.
“Outside the environment of the training pitch and the stadium is different. I made him my captain because I want to control that life outside.”
Rooney is currently playing for MLS side DC United, while Van Gaal announced his retirement from coaching earlier this year.