Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal on Sir Alex: “We can really cope with each other”

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Louis van Gaal spoke with Dutch TV station RTL about his new gig as Manchester United manager, and talked about the communication he’ll have with a certain Scottish peer.

Sir Alex Ferguson knows a thing or two about managing United and van Gaal does not expect to have any problems getting along with the former Red Devils boss.

“I will definitely have a dram with him soon,” he said. “We have done that several times before. We can really cope with each other. I don’t think he is the biggest problem for this job. Because I am always putting more pressure on me than anyone else.”

Certainly there are some language differences at play here, but you can’t help but laugh at the choice of words “cope” and “biggest problem.” In any event, van Gaal’s prickly personality and reputation as a strict boss are more in line with Ferguson than Moyes.

And van Gaal spoke openly about his big plans mimicking those of his new club.

“The aim is to bring them back to the number-one position as soon as possible, because that’s where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions.

“Together I’m sure we will make history.”

Van Gaal continues to plan the Netherlands World Cup run before moving to Old Trafford after the tournament.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.