Netherlands national team boss Louis van Gaal has, on Sunday night, confirmed that he is actively undergoing treatment for cancer.
The Dutchman, of course an icon across the football landscape owing to his efforts on the touchline, revealed the news on Dutch TV a short time ago.
Incredibly, in a true testament to his character, van Gaal admitted that he actually hid the news from the Dutch squad to this point in his stint back in charge of the Oranje, so as not to potentially affect their on-pitch performance:
“In each period during my time as manager of the National Team I had to leave in the night to go to the hospital without the players finding out until now," the ex-Manchester United manager explained. “While thinking I was healthy. But.. I am not."
“I didn’t want to tell it to my players because it could have influenced their performances."
In an altogether concerning insight into his continuous treatment against the disease, van Gaal too revealed that he is dealing with an 'aggressive' form of cancer in his prostate, for which he has already undergone 25 sessions of therapy:
News of van Gaal's illness, of course, has since hit the football world hard, providing a timely reminder of how truly unimportant the sport is when it comes to the grand scheme of life.
In turn, droves have taken to social media to unveil their reactions, and send wishes of wellbeing to the veteran tactician:
The thoughts and well wishes of all at 101GreatGoals are with van Gaal and his family at this difficult time.