Man U will be European champions by 2017: van Gaal

Manchester, Sep 30 (IANS) Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is confident that he will win the Champions League with the English Premier League (EPL) giants before his contract runs out in 2017.

The Dutchman, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and came runner-up with Bayern Munich in 2010, asserted that his experience of winning the coveted trophy in the past will help him transform the struggling Old Trafford side into serious European contenders.

But the 64-year-old, who has announced that he intends to retire from management in 2017, admitted that apart from their football skills, United will need also need their fair share of luck in order to become European champions once again.

“It is not only quality (but luck, too), and I think Manchester United knows and remembers that fantastically when they won the Champions League in 1999.

“When you reach the final, it is a fantastic but in the media it is nothing. For me as a manager, when you reach the final, you have done fantastically and to win the final, of course, all the honours are going to your team and yourself but I know better,” van Gaal told reporters here on Tuesday.

The former Holland manager’s ambition may prove difficult to achieve given United’s current form. The Red Devils struggled in their opening matches of the EPL while their Champions League campaign has also started on the worng foot with a 1-2 away defeat to PSV Eindhoven.

But van Gaal sounded confident when asked if United can improve enough to win the Champions League by 2017.

“I hope so. That is realistic. Because I did it everywhere. I think we can (win it), because I’ve done it,” he said.

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