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Edwin van der Sar (born 29 October 1970) is a Dutchmarker footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for English club Manchester United.

Van der Sar started his senior career with Ajax and remained there for nine years before moving to Italian club Juventus and then to England, first to Fulham and then to Manchester United. He is one of the few footballers to have won the UEFA Champions League with two different teams, having won it with Ajax in 1995 and Manchester United in 2008, the latter where he was named UEFA Man of the match; he also won the UEFA Cup with Ajax in 1992.

Van der Sar was named Best European Goalkeeper in 1995 and 2009, spanning the fourteen-year period between his first and second Champions league victories.

He is the Netherlands national football team's most cap player of all time.

Club career

Ajax

Born in Voorhoutmarker, Van der Sar began his career at his hometown club, Foreholte, and then vv Noordwijk. At a relatively late age, he was brought to the attention of Louis van Gaal, and subsequently signed for Ajax. He enjoyed a long and successful stint in their senior side, winning the 1991–92 UEFA Cup and the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League, as well as the 1995 Best European Goalkeeper award. He kept goal for Ajax in the 1996 UEFA Champions League Final, but had to make do with a runner-up medal as they lost the penalty shootout against Juventus. He made a total of 226 appearances for Ajax and scored a penalty for Ajax to complete a 8–1 victory over De Graafschap in the 1997–98 season.

Juventus

In 1999, Van der Sar moved to Italian giants Juventus, where he made 66 Serie A appearances before eventually losing the number 1 spot to Gianluigi Buffon. He became the first non-Italian to keep goal for the Turin club.

Fulham

Not content to stay on the substitutes' bench at Juventus, Van der Sar moved to Premier League club Fulham in 2001, reportedly for around £7.1 million. Initially signing a four-year contract, he notched up 127 league appearances.

Manchester United

Van der Sar moved to Manchester United on 10 June 2005 for a reported fee of £2 million, although the exact transfer fee was undisclosed. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson considered him the best goalkeeper to play for the club since Peter Schmeichel.

Van der Sar playing for Manchester United.
On 5 May 2007, his penalty save helped assure a 1–0 triumph over Manchester City in the Manchester derby. The following day, Chelsea's failure to beat Arsenal at the Emiratesmarker ensured Manchester United's ninth Premier League trophy and Van der Sar's first. He was also named to the 2006–07 PFA Team of the Year. Three months later, he was a catalyst in Manchester United's 16th FA Community Shield victory, as he saved three consecutive penalties in a shootout after Manchester United and Chelsea played to a 1–1 draw at the end of regular time.

The 2007–08 season was Van der Sar's best season since his arrival; he had several great performances despite a niggling groin injury. He would help United secure their second successive Premier League title on the final day and win the Champions League by saving the final penalty of the shoot-out from Nicolas Anelka.

Van der Sar signed a one-year extension to his current contract with Manchester United on 12 December 2008, keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2009–10 season.

On 27 January 2009, Van der Sar helped Manchester United set a new club and Premier League record for consecutive clean sheets – the club's 5–0 win over West Bromwich Albion meant that they had gone 11 games and 1,032 minutes without conceding a goal, beating the previous record of 10 matches and 1,025 minutes set by Petr Čech in the 2004–05 season. He then broke the overall English league record in the club's following game four days later, beating the previous record of 1,103 minutes, set by Steve Death of Reading in 1979. Another clean sheet, against West Ham on 8 February 2009, extended the record to 1,212 minutes, beating the British top-flight record of 1,155 minutes previously set by Aberdeen's Bobby Clark in 1971. Finally, on 18 February 2009, Van der Sar further extended the record to 1,302 minutes, and in doing so, he broke José María Buljubasich's single-season world record of 1,289 minutes, set in the Chilean Clausura in 2005. His clean sheet record ended on 4 March, when he made an error allowing Peter Løvenkrands of Newcastle United to score after 9 minutes. In total, Van der Sar had gone 1,311 minutes without conceding in the league. These clean sheets were a major factor in United clinching their 11th Premiership title as United won a lot of games 1–0 to clinch the title ahead of Liverpool. With a total of 21 clean sheets he also won the Barclays Golden Glove for 2008–09. However, he missed out on winning his third Champions League winners medal as United succumbed to a 2–0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona on 27 May 2009. Nevertheless, he won Best European Goalkeeper award from UEFA for the second time, 14 years after he first won it at Ajax. He was one of the five United players shortlisted for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award but it went to United teammate Ryan Giggs instead.

Van der Sar sustained a finger injury during the Audi Cup pre-season tournament, forcing him to miss the first 12 matches of Manchester United's 2009–10 season. He returned to action in October 2009, playing in United's 2–1 victory over Bolton Wanderers on 17 October 2009.

International career

Van der Sar was included in the Netherlands's 1994 World Cup squad but did not play. He had to wait until 7 June 1995 for his international debut, against Belarus. He was in goal for three successive eliminations from major competitions by penalties: Euro 96, France 98 and Euro 2000. Following the Dutch team's failure to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Van der Sar would have to wait four years for his next international tournament.

Euro 2004

During the penalty shootout at the Euro 2004 quarter-final against Sweden, Van der Sar saved a penalty from Olof Mellberg, as the Netherlands won the shootout 5–4 and advanced to the semifinals, where they lost to Portugal.

2006 World Cup

Prior to the 2006 World Cup group match against Ivory Coast, Van der Sar had not conceded a goal in nine consecutive competitive matches. As captain of the Netherlands, he broke Frank de Boer's record in the 2006 World Cup second round match against Portugal.

Euro 2008

Edwin van der Sar in training with the Netherlands prior to Euro 2008.
On his 37th birthday, Van der Sar was interviewed by Radio 538 and stated that he intended to retire from international football after Euro 2008. He was the Netherlands' captain in their decisive 3–0 defeat of Italy on 9 June 2008, and also on 13 June for the 4–1 victory over France. On 21 June, he played in the 3–1 quarter-final loss against Russia, which was believed to be his final international. This was his 16th appearance on a European Championship finals match, with which he equalled the record set by Lilian Thuram a few days earlier. Following Euro 2008, Van der Sar has the distinction of playing more minutes at the European Football Championship than any other player.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

On 3 October 2008, at the urging of new coach Bert van Marwijk, Van der Sar agreed to come out of international retirement for the Netherlands' 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Iceland and Norway after injuries to Maarten Stekelenburg and Henk Timmer made both unavailable for the two games. Van der Sar kept a clean sheet in both matches, which were won by the Dutch 2–0 and 1–0 respectively. In Oslo, the Dutch defeated Norway 1–0 courtesy of a Mark van Bommel goal, thus ensuring a fitting send-off for Van der Sar who earned his record 130th cap during that match.

Van der Sar has represented the Dutch national team 130 times, which makes him the country's most capped player. This puts him in the top thirty most capped players of all time.

Personal life

Van der Sar is married to Annemarie van Kesteren. The couple's wedding ceremony took place at the Beurs van Berlagemarker in Amsterdammarker, on 20 May 2006. The couple have two children: a son, Joe, and a daughter, Lynn. Joe was on the pitch celebrating when his father saved a penalty in the Netherlands' 5–4 shoot-out victory over Sweden in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ajax 1990–91 9 0 0 0 9 0
1991–92 0 0 0 0 0 0
1992–93 19 0 3 0 22 0
1993–94 32 0 6 0 38 0
1994–95 33 0 11 0 44 0
1995–96 33 0 11 0 44 0
1996–97 33 0 10 0 43 0
1997–98 33 1 8 0 41 1
1998–99 34 0 6 0 40 0
Total 226 1 55 0 281 1
Juventus 1999–2000 32 0 11 0 43 0
2000–01 34 0 6 0 40 0
Total 66 0 17 0 83 0
Fulham 2001–02 37 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 41 0
2002–03 19 0 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 30 0
2003–04 37 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 43 0
2004–05 34 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 40 0
Total 127 0 15 0 1 0 11 0 0 0 154 0
Manchester United 2005–06 38 0 2 0 3 0 8 0 0 0 51 0
2006–07 32 0 3 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 47 0
2007–08 29 0 4 0 0 0 10 0 1 0 44 0
2008–09 33 0 2 0 0 0 10 0 4 0 49 0
2009–10 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 0
Total 137 0 11 0 3 0 42 0 5 0 198 0
Total 556 1 26 0 4 0 125 0 5 0 716 1


Statistics accurate as of match played 21 November 2009

Honours

Club

Ajax


Juventus


Fulham


Manchester United


Individual



References

  1. {{cite news |first=Nick |last=Coppack |title=Report: Reds lift Community Shield |url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=449978 |work=ManUtd.com |publisher=Manchester United |date=5 August 2007 |accessdate=5 March 2009 }}
  2. {{cite news |first=Adam |last=Bostock |title=Edwin claims British record |url=http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6626680 |work=ManUtd.com |publisher=Manchester United |date=8 February 2009 |accessdate=5 March 2009 }}
  3. Reds suffer van der Sar blow
  4. Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


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