Stam played for Van Gaal in his first spell as Holland manager and says, like Ferguson, he has a clear vision of the team he wants and a footballing philosophy that everyone must buy into.
"He knows how to build a team and buy the right players for the right positions," he told the Daily Express. "He is very clear on what he expects from individuals.
"And like Ferguson he knows how to keep everyone fit and sharp to perform well not just over 40 games but over 60-65 games in a season.
"He is quite strict and disciplined but from what I hear from guys in the national team, he has mellowed a bit in the last couple of years."