• Premier League

Van Gaal gets backing from the best

ESPN staff
July 2, 2014
Louis van Gaal gave Andres Iniesta his debut at Barcelona © Getty Images

Andres Iniesta has praised new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal for the faith he showed in young players during his time in charge of Barcelona.

The World Cup winner was in the youth teams during the Dutchamn's first spell in charge at the Nou Camp, from 1997 to 2000, and made his debut during his short second stint, in the 2002-03 season.

Iniesta remains an admirer of the Netherlands manager, who will take up his duties at Old Trafford after his World Cup campaign ends, and believes he will carry on championing emerging players.

He told Barca Fans TV: "He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and you are young.

"But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone very important to me and if there was something he cared about was supporting the young players from the reserves."

United midfielder Michael Carrick is eager to play for Van Gaal, telling Sky Sports News: "I'm looking forward to working with him. I'm looking forward to meeting him and getting cracking really."

Van Gaal made his first signing by bringing in Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao for £28.8 million and Carrick, who played against the Spanish midfielder when Bilbao knocked United out of the Europa League in 2011-12, believes he will prove an excellent acquisition.

"He is a terrific player," Carrick said. "The more quality we have, the better, and he is certainly right up there. So I am sure he is looking forward to getting started and getting the first game under his belt and fitting in. We will certainly make him feel as welcome as we can."

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