FOOTBALL fans are just learning Louis van Gaal’s real name – with the Dutchman going with the shorter version.
The legendary manager has enjoyed an incredible career in football but has now re-entered retirement following the World Cup.
Van Gaal took charge of the Netherlands for the third time as he led them to Qatar.
His Holland team had been making steady progress before being knocked out in a frantic game with Argentina in the quarter-finals.
Footy fans who had followed the 71-year-old’s career thought they knew everything about him.
But some will still be shocked to learn one of his middle names is “Maria”.
The former Manchester United manager’s full name is Aloysius Paulus Maria Louis van Gaal.
He opts for the shorter version professionally.
Fellow Dutchman Wout Weghorst – who could be Old Trafford-bound – also shares the middle-name of “Maria”.
The Burnley striker’s full name is Wout François Maria Weghorst.
Van Gaal revealed in April that he was battling prostate cancer.
He later revealed that his treatment for the illness was going well.
He also said that he would not be taking another job after the World Cup.
Van Gaal’s coaching career goes all the way back to the 1980s with his first major role being the assistant manager at Dutch club AZ.
His first senior management role was at Ajax in 1991 and he would win the league three times in his six years at the club.
His final club job would be at Man United between 2014 and 2016.
He would deliver the club’s first piece of major silverware following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
But then Van Gaal would be sacked only days later before being replaced by Jose Mourinho.