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Netherlands coach and former Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Ajax manager Louis van Gaal has revealed he is receiving treatment for an “aggressive” form of prostate cancer.

Van Gaal, 70, speaking to RTL TV show Humberto on Sunday, revealed he was receiving treatment while continuing to coach the Dutch team but had not informed his players of his condition. He said he plans to continue leading the Dutch team at this year’s World Cup.

“I think you don’t tell people you work with like that because it might influence their choices, their decision, so I thought they shouldn’t know,” he said. “You don’t die of prostate cancer, at least not in 90% of cases.

“It’s usually other underlying illnesses that kill you. But I had a rather aggressive form, I was irradiated 25 times. Then you have a lot of management to do to get through life.

Van Gaal is in his third spell in charge of the national team, having led the team to a third-place finish at the World Cup in 2014 before joining Manchester United. The Dutch have been drawn in Group A for this year’s World Cup alongside tournament hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal, whom they will face in the tournament’s opener in Doha on 21 November.

“I had preferential treatment at the hospital,” Van Gaal said. “I was allowed in through the back door when I went on a date and was immediately pushed into another room. I was treated wonderfully.

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“You will of course tell your friends and family about it,” he said, when asked to keep his illness a secret. “The fact that nothing has come out yet says a lot about my surroundings. It’s awesome.”

His coaching career spanning nearly four decades, Van Gaal won league titles with Barcelona, ​​Ajax, Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmaar, winning the Champions League with Ajax in 1995. He spent two seasons at United, leading the club to the FA Cup in 2016 before being sacked days later.

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