Van Gaal Had Been Chosen As Fergie's Successor
Apparently, current Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal almost became Manchester United manager, even though I must admit I never heard of this particular possibility - the papers were full of Eriksson stories at the time but not a mention of the controversial Dutchman.
"It was before the World Cup of 2002. I was in contact with Manchester United through Peter Kenyon.
"It was said to me that Alex Ferguson was going to retire.
"The moment he`d go, I`d succeed him. But in the end Ferguson didn`t want to quit!``
These words are written in Van Gaal's autobiography and it certainly would have been interesting had he indeed joined us. He's famous for creating one of the best teams of all time, the Ajax side which reached two consecutive Champions League finals with the sort of football that is usually confined to Pro Evo.
However, he's also famous for turning Barcelona into a wreck full of underperforming Dutchmen - although no one can deny that that had also been entertaining. Surely we all remember United's two 3-3 draws with Van Gaal's Barcelona?
He's not a very popular figure in Catalunya (or indeed anywhere) as he's egotistical, stubborn and difficult to work with. I'm very curious about how he would have fared at United but I prefer the way things panned out, with another European Cup for Fergie.