R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Andres Iniesta reveals his long-standing admiration for Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal

The apparent lack of respect for David Moyes that plagued Manchester United last season is unlikely to repeat itself in August, says World Cup winning midfielder Andres Iniesta.

The Spaniard got to know Dutchman Louis van Gaal, currently with his country in Brazil and preparing for a World Cup last eight clash with Costa Rica on Saturday, at Barcelona in the late 1990s.

Iniesta, who has had many a moment to treasure in his stellar career including scoring the winning goal at the 2010 World Cup against the Dutch, will never forget Van Gaal’s presence.

“He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and you are young,” he told Barca Fans TV.

“But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone who is very important to me and if there was something he cared about, it was supporting the young players from the reserves.”


Van Gaal will be working with a wide range of players in his first season at United, from up-and-coming teenagers, expensive yet young acquisitions such as 18-year-old Luke Shaw and experienced campaigners like forward pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

The 62-year-old is right out of the Sir Alex Ferguson school of management: no nonsense. His approach will be welcomed at United after a season of transition at Old Trafford following the arrival of Moyes in the wake of Ferguson’s retirement.

More immediately on Van Gaal’s radar is the Costa Rica clash and after surviving a scare against another central American side in Mexico at the weekend, the 2010 runners-up will have to be on their guard.

“Costa Rica are very difficult opponents, otherwise they wouldn’t have ended up in a quarter final,” said Van Gaal, matter of fact as ever.

“Let me tell you, the Dutch media thought we would never survive the first round, so how we ended up becoming up favourites I’ll never know.

“This group of players is very modest. We have outstanding spirit, outstanding atmosphere.”

Main image courtesy of TV3 via YouTube, with thanks.

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