Friday, 15th August, 2014

Ron Vlaar admits that he had a rocky relationship with current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during his time at AZ Alkmaar.

The Aston Villa captain is a product of AZ’s youth academy, but he left the club in 2006 and joined Rotterdam giants Feyenoord.

Vlaar admits Van Gaal played a role in him leaving the club, however the defender also concedes that he couldn’t agree a contract with AZ.

“I could not handle his personality then”, Vlaar told Helden Magazine.

“Moreover, I couldn’t agree a contract extension with AZ.”  


The Netherlands international readily admits however that as he grew as a footballer he developed a liking for Van Gaal’s philosophy and training methods.

“You cannot compare me to the boy I was then. I have become mentally strong and now I would be very different in this situation.

“Now I am a professional athlete, demanding and a perfectionist. As such, I have come towards Van Gaal because he really looks at all the details – I like that.”

The Dutchman feels that the Manchester United manager is needlessly criticised in the Netherlands just because he does things differently.

“He wants to improve football. But if you do something different or new, then things will be difficult for you in the Netherlands. I admire the fact that he still tries.”

Vlaar was one of the outstanding performers of Van Gaal’s Netherlands team that finished third in the World Cup in Brazil.

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