Ryan Giggs said the new United boss had an "aura" about him - just like Ferguson.
Being compared to a man who won 13 Premier League titles with United has gone down well with the new man at the helm.
"I highly respect Sir Alex because I don't think there is another manager who has won so many titles," Van Gaal said.
"I (have) won a lot of titles, but he did it in one club and that is fantastic and when you compare Sir Alex with me I am very proud."
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