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‘I’m used to death’ – Former Man United manager, Louis van Gaal shares update on his prostate cancer

Former Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal has shared an update on his health two years after he revealed that he suffers from aggressive prostate cancer.

After the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Dutchman, 72 resigned from his third stint as Netherlands boss after the tournament to focus on fighting his prostate cancer, which requires him to undergo radiation treatment and use a urine bag.

Now, the manager is filming for a documentary titled ‘Always Positive’ alongside the director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Maria Blasco. The film will serve to support oncological research.

In an interview with Spanish outlet AS, Van Gaal explained how he is coping while living with the disease, delivered an update on the treatment he is receiving, and opened up on being ‘used to death’ in his family.

Asked if the prostate cancer has changed his outlook on life, Van Gaal said: ‘Not much, really. Look, I come from a family in which we are nine brothers. I am the smallest. My father died when I was 11 years old. He died at 53.

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‘My first wife died when she was 39. And all my brothers died too soon. I’m used to death. That’s why I know that death is a part of life, and you can deal with it.

‘When I first heard I had cancer I said, “Okay, it’s not good news, but I better try to do something about it.” Each human can react in a different way. That’s why I say: “Be yourself.”’

Van Gaal coached Manchester United between 2014 and 2016, lifting the FA Cup during his final season at Old Trafford.

He took a five-year break from management before returning to the Netherlands dugout in 2021.

The 72-year-old had battled with the disease for over a year before announcing the news publicly to the world, appearing in good health while managing his country.

‘I have always looked very young, that is the reason for my good appearance,’ he said, laughing. ‘My mother was dying and until the last moment she had her face like a flower. No one could see that she was sick. And I have the same problem. Or the same luck.

‘I have been living with the disease for just over three years, with radiation, hormone injections, operations, catheters and urine bags. It’s unbelievable, but I can handle it. I have managed it, and I have been able to do it even working during the last World Cup.

‘I even think that during the World Cup I managed it even better, because I had a goal. And with the cancer process it happens just like with the process of being a coach, you look for a goal. For me it was positive to deal with both things.’

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