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Saturday, 20 May, 2000, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Van Gaal quits Barca
Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal: On his way from the Nou Camp after three years
Barcelona's controversial Dutch coach Louis van Gaal is leaving the club - and his departure could spark a mass exodus of fellow countrymen from the Nou Camp.

Already Winston Bogarde seems destined to be playing his football elsewhere next season.

Team-mate and compatriot Patrick Kluivert told Spanish reporters Bogarde is on his way out after a disappointing spell.

Van Gaal could not resist a parting shot at the attitude of some at the club as he announced his resignation.

"The president (Josep Lluis Nunez) took me on for my philosophy and personality, and also the gameplan of my Dutch team, Ajax," he said.

"But to implant this philosophy in a club is very difficult, because this philosophy does not correspond with the culture of the country."



I had to struggle every day to convince everyone at Barca

Louis van Gaal
Van Gaal has been criticised for buying so many Dutchmen - players who include Kluivert, Philip Cocu, Boudewijn Zenden and the De Boer brothers.

The policy did not sit comfortably with a club that sees itself as the representative of all things Catalan.

"I had to struggle every day to convince everyone at Barcelona, and especially the players," said van Gaal, referring to his reported spats with Brazil's World Player of the Year Rivaldo.

"In this place, in this culture the players always say, 'we are the best'. No, we are not the best because we have to show it on the field every year.


Winston Bogarde
Winston Bogarde in action for Holland
"What has Barcelona won in 100 years? How many Champions Leagues? In six years at Ajax I won more than Barcelona had won in 100 years," he added.

In his three years in Catalonia, van Gaal won two Primera Liga titles and one Spanish Cup.

However pressure grew as Barca lost out in the league to Deportivo La Coruna and crashed out at the semi-final stage of the Champions League - missing out on a final against arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Bogarde doubt

Bogarde is expected to move on after two and a half years at the club.

"He has not had much luck here, but it's his decision," said Kluivert.

"It's always bad when a friend like him goes."

Bogarde will almost certainly be part of the Dutch team at Euro 2000, and his departure will alert several English clubs.

After joining Barca in December 1997, he struggled to make an impact, breaking his ankle at the end of his first season. Yet he played regularly this year and scored two goals.

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14 May 00 | Holland
Dutch squad named
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