‘He could get emotional and cry sometimes’: Juan Mata reveals his relationship with ‘scary’ coach Louis Van Gaal and conversations with the former Manchester United manager over glasses of red wine
- Juan Mata says Louis Van Gaal was brought to tears at Manchester United
- The Dutchman spent two years at the Red Devils between 2014 and 2016
- Van Gaal also had conversations with his players over bottles of red win
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata revealed former Red Devils manager Louis Van Gaal cried in front of his players during his time at Old Trafford.
The Dutch manager had a mixed spell at United between 2014 and 2016, winning the FA Cup in his final game in charge of the club before being sacked for failing to impress supporters over his style of play.
While discussing the charismatic coach, who has also coached Bayern Munich, Barcelona and the Dutch national team in his career, Mata admitted that Van Gaal’s emotions sometimes got the better of him while in Manchester.
Juan Mata (L) admitted Louis Van Gaal (R) cried during his time as Manchester United coach
The Dutch coach is known for his serious personality and stern character on the touchline
Speaking to the United official podcast, Mata said: ‘He could get emotional and was crying sometimes, when he was speaking about important matters. When he found the right values, the right football, he got emotional.’
‘He was scary, I tell you. He was a very nice man; a very, very nice man; very genuine and very sensible. You wouldn’t expect that but he was very sensible.’
Mata, who was part of the FA Cup-winning team in 2016 and scored an important equalizer in the extra-time win over Crystal Palace in the final, also recounted the time he first met Van Gaal as the United coach.
Mata also praised Van Gaal’s tactical mind, as United lifted the 2016 FA Cup under his coaching
Though the Dutchman fell out with United fans overhis style of play and was sacked in 2016
The Dutchman is known for having a stern character and a hard image, and frequently fell out British media during press conferences and post-match briefings.
But Mata, who joined United six months before Van Gaal’s arrival in Manchester, confessed that he was struck with a family-man personality when first meeting the coach.
The Spanish midfielder added: ‘I arrive in the room and it was him, Ryan Giggs and a bottle of Rioja, red wine, with three glasses.’
Van Gaal also had a troubled relationship with the media during United press conferences
‘He was like: ‘Do you want a drink?’ and I was: ‘No, no, I’m fine’. He had a drink and said: “Tell me who you are”.
‘”I mean my name is Juan, I am 26, I play football.”
‘”No, no,” responded Van Gaal. “Tell me who you are as a man. Do you have family? What do you find important in life?”
Mata, 31, is still playing for Manchester United under Norwegian coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘From that moment, he [Van Gaal] can look scary face to face and sometimes goes close to you but, after that, he was a very warm and genuine man.
‘He was more than a football manager with tactics, he is a great human being and I learned a lot from him.’
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