There were times during Louis van Gaal's Manchester United reign where we remembered he was, after all, just a human being.
Facing intense scrutiny during a rough final season, one particular press conference rant from last spring sticks in the memory, where the Dutch manager lambasted the British press for headlines suggesting his sacking was impending. Van Gaal declared himself appalled that his wife and family would pick up a newspaper and read such headlines which, at the time, were somewhat premature.
Instead, he battled on, and eventually guided United to FA Cup success before being relieved of his duties. And it's this FA Cup victory which Van Gaal - who announced his retirement from football yesterday - holds dearest from a career which brought 20 major trophies in 25 years.
The reason it goes down as his career highlight, of course, hardly needs explaining. The former Netherlands and Bayern manager told a press conference yesterday (as per The Mirror):
The last six months at United - the circumstances - were so difficult.
That is why the trophy I won, the FA Cup, I consider the biggest trophy in my career.
When they have put you on a stage with your head on the block, my head was in a noose for six months with the English media on top of me.
Under those circumstances I was expected to inspire those United players every day.
Going to the absolute climax of the FA Cup Final, ending with ten men and having to score to win In extra-time. Having gone through all that, and then walking away with the trophy, was incredible for me.
On reflection, it's difficult not to empathise with Van Gaal's struggles. That being said, he wasn't always particularly endearing to the media, and his brand of football stunk the gaff out for the most part.
Still, it's nice that a three-season reign which will ultimately be viewed as a failure by fans can still offer him a defining moment in an illustrious career.