Manchester: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hit back at former FC Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov on Friday, saying that the Bulgarian football legend's criticism of his coaching methods stem from their acrimonious relationship during their stint with the Catalan giants.
Stoichkov had lashed out at van Gaal earlier this week, claiming that he is "destroying" Manchester United with his poor managerial skills. The 49-year-old claimed that the Dutchman had a similar effect on the Barcelona squad while he was at the helm of the Spanish club from 1997-2000.
He also warned Barcelona winger Pedro Rodriquez against a move to Old Trafford.
Van Gaal was dismissive of the outburst and believes that Stoichkov still has a grudge against him as he had dismissed him from Barcelona when he was in charge.
"You always have to bear in mind who has said something. And then I already know why he said it in this case. So it is not bothering me at all," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by goal.com.
"As a manager, you have to make certain decisions. And Stoichkov is one of the players I sent away at Barcelona. That's the only reason why he is saying stuff like this," he added.
Stoichkov enjoyed two successful spells with Barcelona between 1990 and 1998, but his time at the club came to an abrupt end after he fell out with van Gaal.