As Manchester United prepare to face PSV Eindhoven to mark their return to Europe’s elite, Louis van Gaal is relishing the chance to go up against his former protege Phillip Cocu.

Louis van Gaal was the manager of FC Barcelona during Cocu’s time as a player and also during his ill-fated first stint at the helm of the Netherlands national team.

He has also managed Feyenoord manager Giovanni Van Bronchorst and Ajax manager Frank de Boer in his career.

Van Gaal happy to see the Dutch trio managing the top Dutch clubs

All three managing the three top Dutch clubs are former van Gaal players. Speaking ahead of the trip to Eindhoven, Van Gaal expressed his happiness on having played a role in mentoring them.

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He was quoted by ESPN FC as saying:

“They have all played under me. You could see when they were players that they think about the game and that is not natural. Not every player thinks about the game.

“Phillip Cocu and Frank de Boer did and I thought they would become trainer-coaches. I am very happy that Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu and Giovanni van Bronckhorst are doing the job that I have done. It is nice to see and I will follow their progress.”

Van Gaal rejected the chance to become PSV manager

Van Gaal came close to becoming PSV manager in 2012, however, the Manchester United manager said that the moment has passed and United will be his last job in management.

“Now the moment has passed so I shall not work anymore in PSV because I shall retire after my job in Manchester so it is not possible,” he said.

“But what I have read was true. It is also a process but the time was not good for me to come here.”