Ancelotti: Van Gaal will be fantastic for Man Utd

The Real Madrid boss believes the Red Devils made a wise choice in hiring the Dutchman, predicting he will have a bright and successful future at Old Trafford

By Alex Moretto in Ann Arbor

Carlo Ancelotti reserved high praise for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, insisting is a “fantastic” hire for the club.

The Dutchman has coached some of Europe’s top clubs – winning the Champions League, seven league titles and numerous continental cups – while most recently leading Netherlands to a third-place finish at World Cup 2014.

Real Madrid coach Ancelotti believes the experience of Van Gaal will help him drag Man Utd back to winning ways after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season.  

“Van Gaal is a very good and very experienced manager,” he told reporters ahead of his European champions’ clash with the Red Devils on Saturday. “He will do a fantastic job with Manchester United.

“He had a fantastic World Cup with Netherlands and as a coach he has nothing else to learn.

“It’s important that the players buy into the system and are involved in making it work. It’s difficult to say how long it will take for this improvement to show, but the most important thing is to have a clear idea and I think Van Gaal has very good experience with this.

“I think Manchester United made a fantastic choice with Van Gaal.”

The Italian likes what the Premier League outfit have done to strengthen their squad during the summer transfer window, bringing in young stars Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera with others rumoured to be on their way, but isn’t sure if it will be enough for them to win the title this season.

“I think that after Sir Alex Ferguson left it was difficult for them. Now they have done a great job rebuilding the team, signing some really good players this summer. To build the team back is not so easy,” he continued.

“I think the Premier League at the moment is very competitive. It will be difficult to win in his first year because there are a lot of very tough teams who want to win.”

Ancelotti is eager to face the Dutchman in Saturday’s match, the final instalment in Real Madrid’s North American tour, and knows difficulty of the task that lies ahead for his team.

“It’s never a friendly against Manchester United,” the ex-Chelsea boss said. “We are playing a fantastic team inside a fantastic stadium.

“We want to do our best because it is the last game of our tour and we want to finish it well before we return to Europe to prepare for the Supercopa. We need to play a good game tomorrow.”

The 55-year-old also addressed the status of Angel Di Maria and Diego Lopez – who have been strongly linked with departures from Real Madrid this summer – while confirming Iker Casillas as the starting goalkeeper for their upcoming Uefa Super Cup final against Sevilla in their first competitive game of 2014-15.

“Diego Lopez is working hard and being very professional,” he added. “At this point there’s no news on any transfers.

“He won’t play tomorrow, however, as we want to give Iker some minutes as he will be playing in the Uefa Super Cup later this month. Diego still has the full confidence of everyone in the team though.

“There is no news on Di Maria. He is continuing his holiday and will return to the team on August 5 as was planned before the World Cup.”

The match is scheduled for kick off just after 22:00CET on Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd of over 100,000 fans at Michigan Stadium.

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