Louis van Gaal’s cancer battle boosted after ’25 radiation treatments’

Man Utd: Louis van Gaal's managerial career highlights

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Netherlands boss Louis Van Gaal has confirmed the treatment he has undergone for an aggressive form of prostate cancer has been successful. Van Gaal, 70, broke the news of his cancer diagnosis on Dutch national television this month.

The legendary manager, who has had spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United and is into his third stint as Netherlands coach, revealed his condition on TV show Humberto as he spoke about a new documentary focusing on his life. Van Gaal, who won the FA Cup with United in 2016, added that he has been in treatment for some time, even having radiation therapy when away on duty with his international squad. 

And he has now said in a positive update that his radiation treatments have so far been successful. “I’ve been through everything. I had 25 radiation treatments. Then I had to wait five or six months to see if it had done its job. It did,” Van Gaal told Dutch news agency ANP about his treatment.

Van Gaal recently led the Netherlands to qualification for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar as the Oranje finished top of their group. He is expected to oversee his side’s fortunes in November and December before being succeeded by Ronald Koeman, who will take his second stint in the position.

While he has his eyes set on leading his nation in another World Cup, Van Gaal spoke openly about hiding his diagnosis from his players for a long period as he did not want to impact their mindset.

“I think you don’t tell people you work with like that because it might influence their choices, their decisiveness. So I thought they shouldn’t know,” he explained.

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“In each period during my time as manager of the National Team I had to leave in the night to go to the hospital without the players finding it out until now. While thinking I was healthy. But, I am not.

“You don’t die from prostate cancer, at least not in 90% of the cases. It is usually other underlying diseases that kill you. But I had a pretty aggressive form.”

Van Gaal has already begun planning for this winter’s unique World Cup in the Middle East. The Netherlands have been drawn into Group A, where they will face hosts Qatar, the reigning African Cup of Nation champions Senegal and Ecuador. Van Gaal’s men will kick the tournament off against Senegal on Monday November 21.

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