Louis van Gaal broke down in tears and “cried like a baby” when he was sacked as Barcelona’s manager, one of his former players has revealed.
French defender Philippe Christanval signed for Barca back in 2001 from Monaco, and played during van Gaal’s second reign as the Catalan club’s head coach. Van Gaal started the 2002/03 season as Barcelona’s boss, but would be sacked in January 2003 as the club’s struggled badly for form, and eventually finished the season in lowly sixth position in La Liga.
Christanval didn’t play much that season, with the likes of Carles Puyol breaking into the team ahead of him, but he was in the Nou Camp dressing room the day that van Gaal announced to his squad that he had been given his marching orders by the club’s board.
— SFR Sport (@SFR_Sport) September 15, 2016
Our French isn’t so good, but apparently, according to French news outlet RMC Sport, Christanval’s comments translate roughly as: “We were in the locker room when he [van Gaal] came in and faced the players. He collapsed in tears when announcing the news.He was crying like a baby. It didn’t move too many of the players.”
Christanval’s account of that fateful day certainly puts a different spin on the Dutchman’s authoritarian reputation – and we would absolutely love to hear a rebuttal!