Van Gaal back at Barca

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The Independent Football

Louis Van Gaal has returned to Barcelona. The Dutchman, who was coach for three years before resigning in 2000, led the Nou Camp club to the Spanish title in 1998 and 1999.

Van Gaal, who was coach of the Netherlands during their failed qualification campaign for this summer's World Cup finals, replaces Carles Rexach, who failed to win a trophy in his two seasons in charge.

The 50-year-old had a stormy spell in charge from 1997-2000, resigning in solidarity with the former president Josep Lluis Nuñez, who left after 22 years at the club's helm following protests over the side's performances and style.

Van Gaal's return promises to be controversial, as his unemotional approach during his previous tenure found little favour with fans or the press. He was particularly unpopular for signing eight fellow Dutch players while selling off several homegrown youngsters.

A section of the club's directors is also said to be unhappy at his return.