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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Edwin van der Sar - An Undoubtedly Legend

Full name : Edwin van der Sar
Date of birth : 29 October 1970 (age 40)
Place of birth : Voorhout, Netherlands
Height : 6 ft 5.5 in (1.97m)
Playing position : Goalkeeper (Retired)

source : wikipedia

Edwin van der Sar (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛdʋɪn vɑn dər sɑr]) (born 29 October 1970) is a Dutch former footballer who played as a goalkeeper for AFC Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United. He is the most capped player in the Netherlands national football team's history.

He started his senior career at Ajax and is considered to be a member of a golden generation of players at the club. He 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 – with Ajax in 1995 and Manchester United in 2008; in the latter, he was also named UEFA Man of the Match. Van der Sar also won the UEFA Cup with Ajax in 1992.

Throughout a long and successful career, Van der Sar achieved and set numerous records. In the 2008–09 season he set the world league clean sheet record by not conceding a single goal for 1,311 minutes. Along with being the most capped player for the Netherlands national team, with 130 caps, he is also the oldest player to win the Premier League, at 40 years and 205 days old. Individually Van Der Sar has won several honours, including Best European Goalkeeper in 1995, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year in 1995 and 2009.

Manchester United

2005–06 season
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 considers him the best goalkeeper to have played for the club since Peter Schmeichel.

2006–07 season
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 Emirates 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.

2007–08 season
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 gaining him the nickname "Van der Save".

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.

2008–09 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, however he was included into the PFA Team of the Year.

2009–10 season
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. On 6 October 2009, Van der Sar returned to action for United, playing 90 minutes in the reserves against Everton. On 17 October 2009, he returned to action in the first team, playing in United's 2–1 victory over Bolton Wanderers. On 21 November 2009, Van der Sar would suffer injury again and be kept out of action for 12 games, with the combination of the Dutchman’s wife suffering a brain haemorrhage just before Christmas. On 16 January 2010, Van der Sar returned to action in a 3–0 win over Burnley.

2010–11 season
Van der Sar signed a one-year extension to his current contract with Manchester United on 26 February 2010, keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2010–11 season.

On 23 December 2010, British press reported that Sir Alex Ferguson had confirmed van der Sar would retire at the end of the 2010–11 Premier League season. Although he denied the reports at the time, Van der Sar confirmed on 27 January 2011 it now was his intention. On 12 March, Van der Sar was named Man of the Match against Arsenal in the FA Cup after making several fine saves. United won the match 2–0 with goals from Wayne Rooney and Fábio. He was included in the PFA Team of the Year, making his third appearance there, others in 2007 and 2008.

On 22 May 2011, he played his final game at Old Trafford in a 4–2 victory over Blackpool resulting in Blackpool's relegation from the Premier League. He captained United as a farewell treat. Van der Sar officially retired from football following a 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final.

Personal life

Van der Sar is married to Annemarie van Kesteren, the couple's wedding ceremony took place at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, 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. In December 2009, Van Kesteren was admitted to hospital just two days before Christmas, reports said she had suffered a suspected brain haemorrhage and was in a "very poor" condition. Van der Sar was granted indefinite leave following his wife's collapse and it is understood that she has made a good recovery with no long term effects.

Honours and awards

Eredivisie (4): 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98
KNVB Cup (3): 1992–93, 1997–98, 1998–99
Johan Cruijff Shield (3): 1993, 1994, 1995
UEFA Champions League (1): 1994–95
UEFA Cup (1): 1991–92
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1995
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1995

UEFA Intertoto Cup (1): 1999

UEFA Intertoto Cup (1): 2002

Manchester United
Premier League (4): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11
Football League Cup (1): 2005–06
FA Community Shield (3): 2007, 2008, 2010
UEFA Champions League (1): 2007–08
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008

Best European Goalkeeper (4): 1995, 2008, 2009, 2010
Dutch Football Goalkeeper of the Year (4): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
Dutch Golden Shoe (1): 1998
PFA Premier League Team of the Year (3): 2006–07, 2008–09, 2010–11
UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament
Barclays Merit Award (1): 2008–09
Barclays Golden Glove (1): 2008–09
UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year (2): 1995, 2009
Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau: 5 June 2010
IFHS Best Goalkeeper Of The Year:2001-2

Oldest player to appear in the UEFA Champions League Final (40 years and 211 days)
Oldest player to win the Premier League (40 years and 205 days)
Most caps for Netherlands national football team (130)
Worldwide league record keeping clean sheet (1,311 minutes, set in 2008–09 Premier League)
First non-British player to be active in the Premier League beyond the age of 40
First goalkeeper to keep 50 clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League

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