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McClaren’s maiden outing

Reunion for Wolves boss, Van Gaal and FCB

Wolfsburg boss Steve McClaren and Bayern have not crossed paths very often in the past – but when the parties did meet, the occasion was momentous. McClaren, who will become the first Englishman to coach in the Bundesliga when he sends out his side at the Allianz Arena on Friday, played an important role in the most devastating defeat in Bayern’s long history. The 49-year-old was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United when FCB fell to a dramatic 2-1 defeat in the 1999 Champions League final.

However, McClaren is connected to modern-day Munich via Louis van Gaal. The two know each other well as bitter rivals in the Dutch Eredivisie title race in 2008-9. Van Gaal led AZ Alkmaar to the title, McClaren guiding Twente Enschede to the runners-up spot.

Level in face-to-face encounters

“He’s a very good coach and motivator,” Van Gaal stated ahead of the reunion with McClaren, who made up for the previous season’s disappointment by taking Twente to the Dutch title last term. “He adopted the playing style introduced by his predecessor Fred Rutten at Twente, and successfully developed it.”