Patrick Kluivert almost joined Manchester United
Former Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert has revealed that he almost joined Louis Van Gaal as assistant manager at Manchester United. Van Gaal is now assisted by Ryan Giggs at United, but Kluivert says he came close to taking on the role, only to be advised to instead make the move into management by his former Ajax and Barcelona boss.
Kluivert, now coach of the Curacao national team, was also the assistant manager for the Dutch national team in the 2014 world cup. He revealed that it was Van Gaal who suggested him to discontinue as an assistant & take up managerial role at any other club.
"Louis wanted to have Ryan Giggs in my position and I could understand his decision -- he wanted someone who knows the club very well," Kluivert is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"He also said to me: 'Patrick, it's now time for you to stand on your own feet,' and that's why I didn't join Manchester United. So I have made a different step towards the top and I see it as a perfect one towards being head coach of a good club team."
Kluivert went on to reveal that he turned down plenty of managerial offers before agreeing to take over Curacao.
"I had offers from some clubs after that, and also the Ghana national team," he said. "But I'm a sensitive person and if the feeling isn't good I'm not doing it. The feeling I had about working with the people here on the island [Curacao] was very good and that was the most important thing when making my decision.
“It is a nice challenge and I'm taking it very seriously -- it has come at the perfect moment for me. The [Curacao] federation asked me if I was interested in the job of head coach and I didn't have to think. I still have a lot of family here and feel a strong connection with the place. It seems like home, and that was a big part of it for me."
Kluivert's ambition is to take Curacao to a first-ever World Cup and he got off to the perfect start on Saturday. His side defeated Montserrat in the first leg of CONCACAF's first qualifying round, with the return game to be played on Tuesday.
“I'm not going to predict anything, I'm just going match after match, trying to analyse our opponents well and to prepare the team," Kluivert said.
“We'll aim to play organised, offensive, attractive football and go for the win every time, but I'm not a person who likes to aim for big targets. We're just looking to go as far as possible.”