Profile: Louis van Gaal
Alex Ferguson's 27-year tenure at Old Trafford was always going to prove a tough act to follow, and so it proved as successor David Moyes failed to stamp his authority on a United side that fell well short of defending its 13th Premier League title, won in Ferguson's last campaign at the helm.
United's record appearance maker Ryan Giggs took over on a brief interim basis but, following continuous speculation that Van Gaal would be the man to take the reins permanently, the announcement was made official on Monday, with the Dutchman signing a three-year contract, which will take effect after the FIFA World Cup.
Van Gaal has vast experience of working at some of Europe's elite clubs, having won domestic titles in Netherlands, Spain and Germany as well as a UEFA Champions League title. Below we profile the impressive track record of the 62-year-old.
September 1991-June 1997: Ajax
Van Gaal guided the Amsterdam giants to victory over Torino in the UEFA Cup final at the end of his first season in charge. The KNVB Beker followed the next season, before the first of a hat-trick of Eredivisie crowns in the 1993-94 campaign. The second of those three successive titles was augmented by Champions League glory in 1995, as Patrick Kluivert's late goal earned a 1-0 victory over Milan in Vienna.
July 1997-May 2000: Barcelona
After a trophy-laden tenure at Ajax, Van Gaal moved to Catalan giants Barcelona after the departure of Bobby Robson, where he led club to four major titles. His reign began with UEFA Super Cup success over Borussia Dortmund, before a La Liga and Copa del Rey double in 1997-98. A second league crown followed in the next campaign, before Van Gaal departed Camp Nou to take charge of his national side.
July 2000-January 2002: Netherlands
The move into international football proved ill-fated as Van Gaal oversaw a disastrous FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign that saw the team fail to qualify for the finals for the first time since 1986 - Jason McAteer's goal guiding the Republic of Ireland past the Oranje in the play-off stage.
July 2002-January 2003: Barcelona
Van Gaal returned to manage Barca but failed to live up to the heights reached in his first spell in charge, and the Dutchman left in January with the side struggling in mid-table.
July 2005-June 2009: AZ
The coach returned to his homeland to manage AZ in 2005 and led the side to their first national title for 28 years in his fourth season in charge.
July 2009-April 2011: Bayern Munich
His success at the AFAS Stadion attracted the attention of Bayern, and the decision to move was immediately vindicated as Van Gaal delivered a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in his first season at the helm. They were denied the treble by Jose Mourinho's Inter who won the UEFA Champions League final 2-0 in Madrid to seal their own trio of titles.
August 2012-July 2014: Netherlands
Taking over from Bert van Marwijk, Van Gaal's second spell in charge of the Dutch national team has proved more successful than the first, as he guided the side to this year's Brazil World Cup in impressive style, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 qualifying matches to finish nine points clear of second-placed Romania.