Van Gaal appointed Officer in Order of Orange-Nassau at special evening in Zeist
Louis van Gaal was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau in Zeist and also awarded the knighthood of the KNVB, the second highest award within the soccer association.
The 71-year-old coach was honored for his career during a specially organized “thank you” evening. Van Gaal was national coach of the Dutch national team three times: between 2000-2001, 2012-2014 and 2021-2022.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Van Gaal was presented with the decoration of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Minister Conny Helder.
According to the KNVB, it is in recognition of the extraordinary sporting achievements with which he has represented the Netherlands nationally and internationally and the impact this has had on our society.
In 1997, Van Gaal had previously been appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. With his new title, he has been officially promoted to Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
“You believe – no you know – that investing in talent pays off. And that a good player by himself is not much more than that: a good player. For good soccer you need good team players,” Minister Helder said.
The award of national knighthood was presented to Van Gaal by national chairman Just Spee. “Orange has color on its cheeks again thanks to you. We can move forward again,” Spee spoke.
Many invited guests
About a hundred invited guests attended the thank-you evening, including players from the three selections the former national coach worked with. Van Gaal was succeeded by Ronald Koeman, who started his second term.
Van Gaal played 63 duels as national team coach and the Orange won 40 times. Nineteen duels ended in a draw and four were lost.