‘I don’t know if I’m going to be here next season, but I want to tell you how proud I am of every single one of you’: Juan Mata reveals Louis van Gaal’s final message to his Man United squad just minutes before his sacking in 2016
- Louis van Gaal was sacked as Manchester United manager in May 2016
- Van Gaal’s was officially confirmed two days after guiding them to FA Cup glory
- However, rumours circled just minutes after their victory over Crystal Palace
Juan Mata has lifted the lid on the final few moments of Louis van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United prior to his sacking.
Van Gaal’s stint at Old Trafford came to an abrupt end in May 2016 – having just guided the club to their first FA Cup triumph in 12 years.
The Dutchman was officially dismissed on May 23, 2016, two days after the club’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace after extra-time, but rumours about his eventual successor Jose Mourinho replacing him surfaced just minutes after their victory.
Juan Mata (left) has revealed Louis van Gaal’s final message prior to his Manchester United exit
Van Gaal was sacked as United manager imminently after guiding them to the 2016 FA Cup
And reflecting on that bittersweet moment, Mata – who scored the equalising goal at Wembley – has revealed that Van Gaal conceded himself to his squad that he was unsure if he would take charge of the club for a third season.
‘At the end of his time at the club, on his “farewell”, he let his emotional side take over and opened himself very honestly to us: “I don’t know if I’m going to be here next season, but I want to tell you anyway how proud I am of every single one of you,” the Spaniard says in his new book Juan Mata: Suddenly A Footballer, as serialised by the Mirror, of Van Gaal’s speech in the dressing room.
‘We fought together in adversity and we ended up lifting this special trophy. That is something that nobody will be able to change. Thank you to all of you’.
‘We had just won the FA Cup minutes earlier and he was saying ‘goodbye and good luck’. He handed out pieces of paper to each of us with our return date on it, as he had organised the pre-season for next July.
‘We all knew this was a routine process, going through the motions, because there were already so many rumours of him being sacked.
‘Only minutes after lifting the FA Cup trophy, they would end up being true.’
He was replaced by Jose Mourinho – with rumours of this decision just minutes after full-time