“Some teams didn’t sign me out of respect for the cancer.”

Fortunately, I can say that the likelihood of the tumor reappearing is currently minimal.“, reply Van Gaal to the microphone ACE. And this is the most important thing. A phrase that makes a dozen of us in the room smile at the same time. Four years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.. Big mistake Mr. Error, who did not know who he was contacting. More than 20 rounds of chemotherapy and several surgeries later, Louis is “healthy.” And although he speaks about cancer with respect (“you never know”), never loses his smile. The same one with whom he came to the presentation of the project this Wednesday.”Always positive‘, a massive collaboration to raise funds for cancer research that AS is extremely proud to say it is a part of.

After the event he visits this newspaper in casual chat where he confirms that his recovery is going smoothly and that although he wants to take life calmly (“I want to be at home with my wife”), does not rule out the possibility of re-training at some point: “Not clubs, but national teams… I don’t rule it out.” About the Eurocup. believes Spain is the favorite and slaps England: “It’s a huge football country, but it never wins with its national team.” To his 72 years old, he’s got the rope for a while. And there is plenty of optimism, despite everything, despite a lot.

Interview by Sergio Lopez de Vicente with Van Gaal on the occasion of the launch of the “Always Positive” project.


– How did you feel when you woke up and saw the cover of AS?

-Incredible! When I coached Barcelona, ​​I never appeared on the cover, and when I did, it was always with something negative. Because your headquarters are in Madrid! (Laughter). But jokes aside, it’s very good, very good. This decision has a huge purpose… and you decided to become a part of this project as sponsorit makes me feel very proud.

-How are you?

“Four years have passed, and, fortunately, I can say that the likelihood of the tumor reappearing is minimal. But with cancer you never know. Now I feel good and healthy. Two years ago, for example, I was with devices and rubber balls between my legs. This situation is unpleasant…

– Because… When exactly did this start?

“Four years ago, when I was 69, I was in very good shape for my age! I used to do everything: golf, tennis, swim… but now I can’t do anything because everything is too tiring. I can only say, as you can see(laughter). But it’s okay, I can handle it and stay positive. I think I was lucky to be born with this mentality. Something negative came to me, but I feel good, so I’m happy.

“How can news like this change your life?”

“My life was full of death. I lost my father when I was 11 years old, and out of nine siblings, only three are still alive. You see, my genetics weren’t that good. My life is full of deaths, this is reality: my wife, 39 years old. A path like this makes you realize that this is part of life. So, you know what, I’m alive; and that’s positive.

– How important is it to maintain a positive attitude when faced with such news?

“I’m very glad that I was born with such a mentality, such a positive one. Since a person in many cases cannot change his personality, it is difficult to master it if he is born in one way. But I did it with full optimism, and it helped me cope with the whole situation. Listen, when you get news like this, you can choose two ways, but I don’t recommend the negative because this kind of disease can lead to many complications and they are unpleasant, especially for young people.

“At the World Championships in Qatar I had to go to the doctor twice because I couldn’t urinate.”

Van Gaal and AS

“Is it difficult to stay positive in the face of something like this?

“How convenient it is. Because you go through painful situations, like having to go to the doctor because of sudden discomfort and not knowing what’s going on. With all this in mind, it is important to maintain a positive attitude as much as possible. I’ll tell you an anecdote: at the World Championships in Qatar, I had to go to the doctor twice because I couldn’t urinate. The team didn’t know and didn’t want to worry… or deconcentrate. And walking in such moments is difficult, difficult. But, if you look from the other side, thanks to football I was able to isolate myself and think less about what was happening. Optimism helped me beat cancer. My wife tells me it’s incredible how strong I am.

— Why did you decide to enter this project?

“Because I think I can help a lot of people.” For example, make it clear that you need to see a doctor immediately if you are unable to urinate or have problems. You need to get tested urgently! Maria Blasco (Director of CNIO) said: today many cases can be solved. Maybe not all, but many. So, if my example can help, go ahead. This is what I wanted to be proud of with the phrase “always positive.”

“What would you say to Van Gaal 50 years ago?

“We need to be more patient with the media (laughter). That I am not responsible for what is asked, but I am responsible for the answers. It would be useful for me to know this.

Interview by Sergio Lopez de Vicente with Van Gaal on the occasion of the launch of the “Always Positive” project.

“Let’s talk a little about football… Who is your favorite at the Eurocup?

-It’s complicated. My first impression took me to Spain and then, as a second impression, to Germany. But I see that the Netherlands and Portugal have options. This will depend on the status of the players. Because France is also on the shortlist… but Mbappe was a problem. And it shows that you also need a little luck on your side. As for England, I think they are a huge football country, but they never win with their national team. Nothing since 1966! The Premier League is one of the biggest in the world, but they barely manage to win the Champions League. This makes me think that the Spanish league is the best in the world, above the English one. Better technically and tactically. This shows that they have become champions more often than ever. Spain are the favorites for the Eurocup, but who knows.

— And the Netherlands, how far away?

“I can’t answer that!” But I hope we get lucky because we need it. Same with the judges. The other day we saw a strong shock, but the judges did not notice anything.

“A few days ago Morata said that Spain is a country that tends to be pessimistic rather than optimistic about itself. Who sees the bad first? Do you share this?

“30 years ago I had the same feeling when I uttered that famous phrase that became important for optimism. If Morata said this, it is because he received a lot of criticism. But Lamin Yamal will also receive many good awards. And he will say the opposite. This also depends on each specific case.

“Will we see Van Gaal training again?”

-I don’t think so. I want to spend the rest of my life at home with my wife. I don’t rule out selection, I see that it’s possible, but the clubs… no. Last year I was in talks with some federations and felt that they showed respect by signing me due to my illness. This makes me think that I don’t think I’ll be back, but who knows.

“What message would you send to those who are fighting against Error?

“Not only for those who struggle with it, but also for those who have problems urinating. Do not wait! Stupidly, I did it thinking it wouldn’t happen to me… but it did. Therefore, if you have problems urinating, consult a doctor and get tested. Here in Spain we have huge professionals, some of the best in the world. If you feel discomfort, contact your doctor and get tested. And if you are already going through this, listen to the doctors… Not like me! I’m not allowed to drink coffee or alcohol, but I’m stupid and drink both. I’m a person who doesn’t change my habits much, and that’s stupid. Changing your personality is very difficult! For the rest, please pay attention. Really.

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