Louis van Gaal Nicknames Manchester United Defender Chris Smalling 'Pele'

Mark BollonsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2016

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Louis van Gaal manager of Manchester United celebrates victory with winning goalscorer Chris Smalling in the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and VfL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford on September 30, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling earned himself a new nickname at Old Trafford.

The centre-back had been dubbed "Mike" by Louis van Gaal on two separate occasions, with the Red Devils boss making the mistake both in San Jose during the club's pre-season tour and again after a Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow in November.

Van Gaal recently fell into the same trap when discussing Will Keane, who has been recalled by United following his loan spell at Preston North End. Michael Keane is his twin brother and was sold to Burnley last year.

To avoid the mistake happening again with Smalling, he's decided to call him "Pele."

"I said to 'Mike' Smalling that I call him Pele because he had a fantastic move so it is easier to call him Pele now," he said, per the Press Association (via MailOnline).

Now, doesn't that make life easier?

[h/t MailOnline]