The Dutch coach's second spell as FC Barcelona came to an end on 27 January 2003
The 2-0 defeat against Celta Vigo in Balaídos had left Barça in 12th place in the table with just 23 points, 20 behind the leaders Real Sociedad with half the season gone. With the blaugranes just three points above the relegation zone, President Joan Gaspart felt he had no option but to relieve Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal of his duties. As such, Van Gaal’s second spell as coach of the blaugranes came to an end.
The following day with tears in his eyes, the coach confessed to the press: “I am leaving with sadness for not having lived up to the expectations of the fans.”