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Edwin Van Der Sar 2005-?

February 14, 2010

Written by: Michael Ballard

Edwin Van Der Sar

Born October 29th 1970 in Voorhout, Holland, Van Der Sar began his career at his hometown club, Foreholte. At a relatively late age he caught the eye of Ajax manager Louis Van Gaal. Van der sar enjoyed a long successful stint at Ajax Winning the 1991-1992 Uefa cup the 1994-95 Champions league, 4 Dutch eredivisie titles, 3 KNVB cups, 3 Dutch super cups a Uefa super cup and an Intercontinental cup.
All of his hard work was recognized when he won the Best European
goalkeeper award in 1995. It was during Van Der Sar’s spell at Ajax that he broke into the Dutch national team, first as an unused substitute in the 1994 World Cup, before making his debut in 1995 against Belarus. He was in-goal for three successive eliminations by penalties: Euro 96, France 98 and Euro 2000.
He was ever-present between the sticks for Ajax and the following year he helped his club reach a second consecutive Champions League final. However, Van der sar had to settle for a runners-up medal the second time around The match was locked at 1-1 after extra time and Ajax lost the penalty shootout 4-2 to Italian giants Juventus.

Van Der Sar made 226 appearances for Ajax and scored a penalty in an 8-1 thrashing of de Graafschap.

In 1999 after Ajax finished a disappointing 6th in the Dutch eredevisie and bottom of their champions league group and realizing he’d won everything there was to win in Holland Van der sar decided it was time for a new challenge and Joined Juventus for a transfer fee of £5 million.

Van der sar made his debut for Juventus in a 1-1 draw against Regina on 29/08/1999 becoming the first Non Italian in Juventus history to keep goal for the club but quickly found himself on the subs bench after the emergence of Gianluigi Buffon. Despite being second choice for much of his spell at Juventus he was still 1st choice for his country , locking down the number one spot in Euro 2000 which Holland crashed out of on penalties and for the 2002 Fifa World cup qualifiers which Holland failed to reach, he would have to wait 4 years for his next international tournament.
In his brief 2-year stint at Juventus Van Der Sar made a total of 83 appearances and won a Uefa Intertoto cup in his first year with the club.
Uncontent with being second choice to Buffon Van Der Sar made the switch to English football and joined Premier League club Fulham in 2001 for a reported fee of £7.1 million smashing the clubs transfer record.

Van Der Sar spent four seasons at Craven Cottage and built a reputation of being one of the most solid goalkeepers in the EPL. He only missed one match in 2003-04 being solid as ever and holding the record for the most shots saved in a single campaign. Despite being linked with a move back to Holland with PSV Van Der Sar stayed with Fulham and was named in the Dutch squad for Euro 2004. With his contract to expire in the summer of 2005 the cottagers managed to sign him up for a two-year extension in January despite much speculation about a move to Manchester United. But at the end of the 05 campaign Van Der Sar agreed to move to Old Trafford and after the two clubs settled on a fee believed to be in the range of £2 million but was undisclosed. Van Der Sar made a total of 127 appearances for Fulham.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson considered him the best goalkeeper to play for the club since Peter Schmeichel.

Van Der Sars arrival at Old Trafford provided a much-needed improvement to the team’s defensive performances. In his first season he helped United clinch second place and earn the automatic Champions League spot as well as helping United to a 4-0 victory against Wigan Athletic in the league cup final. Van Der Sar was called up to the Dutch national squad for the 2006 World Cup. Prior to the tournament, he had not conceded a goal in nine competitive matches.

In the 06-07 season Van Der Sar was ever present between the sticks and on May 5th 2007 his penalty save helped ensure a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Manchester derby. The following day title rivals Chelsea failed to beat Arsenal at the Emirates and United clinched their 9th premier league trophy in 15 years, he was a vital part of the team that went on to the semi-finals of the Champions league before crashing out against eventual champions AC Milan.
He was also named in the 2006-07 PFA team of the year. Three months after lifting his first Premier League trophy Van Der Sar was a key player in United’s 16th FA Community Shield victory as he saved 3 consecutive penalties in a shootout after Manchester United and Chelsea were locked at 1-1 after regular time

The 07-08 campaign would prove to be his best since his arrival; he had several great performances despite playing with a nagging groin injury. Van Der Sar would help United clinch their second successive Premier League trophy and their 10th in 16 years. On Wednesday, 21 May 2008 Edwin Van Der Sar stamped his name in Manchester United folklore forever, playing Premier League Rivals Chelsea in the Champions League final making it the first all-english final in the competition’s history and only the third time that two clubs from the same country contested a final. United and Chelsea were locked at 1-1 after extra time and were down in the penalty shoot-out after a Cristiano Ronaldo miss, Chelsea’s John Terry could have clinched it with one shot but slipped during his run up to the ball and watched it sail past the right post. Nicholas Anelka eventually stepped up to take a spot kick in the lead up to the shot Van Der Sar cheekily pointed to his left distracting Anelka then diving to his right to deny him, clinching United’s third European crown. The significance for United was this marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster and the 40th anniversary of United’s first European triumph in 1968. The club signed him up for a one-year extension on 12 December 2008 keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2009-10 season.

On his 37th Birthday Van Der Sar was interviewed by Radio 538 and said that he intended to retire from international football after Euro 2008. He captained the sides that thrashed Italy 3-0 and France 4-1. On 21 June he played in the 3-1 to loss to Russia in the quarter-finals which was believed to be his final international match, this was his 16th appearance in a European championships match. Following Euro 08 Van Der Sar has the distinction of playing more minutes at the European Championships than any other player.

On 3 October 2008 after being urged by new Dutch manager Bert Van Marwijk he agreed to come out of international retirement During the 2010 World Cup qualifiers for two matches. The Dutch won both matches and Van Der Sar kept two clean
Sheets. He earned his record 130th cap in the win against Norway making him the most capped player in Dutch national team history and puts him in the top 30 most capped players of all time.

The 2008-2009 campaign also proved very successful for Van Der Sar, helping United to a third consecutive Premier League title, Carling cup and second consecutive appearance in the 2009 Champions League Final in Rome. And on 27
January 2009 he put his name in the history books once again setting a new club and Premier League record for consecutive clean sheets, United’s 5-0 win over West Bromwich Albion meant they had gone 11 matches and 1,032 minutes without conceding a goal, beating the previous record of 1,025 minutes and 10 matches set by Chelsea’s Petr Cech in the 2004-2005 season. Four days later he broke the overall English record of 1,103 minutes set by Readings Steve Death in 1979. On 8 February 2009 Van Der Sar racked up another clean sheet against West Ham at Upton Park and extended the record to 1,212 minutes breaking the British top flight record of 1,155 minutes Set by Aberdeen’s Bobby Clark in 1971. Finally on 18 February 2009 Van Der Sar extended the record to 1,302 minutes and broke the single season world record of 1,289 minutes set by Jose Maria Buljubasich in 2005 in the chilean Clausura. The clean sheet run ended on 4 March against Newcastle United at St-James Park after making an error allowing Peter Lovenkrands to score after just 9 minutes. In total, Van Der Sar went 1,311 minutes in the league without conceding a goal, these clean sheets were a huge part of Uniteds 08-09 Premier League triumph. With a total of 21 clean sheets he was awarded the Premier League’s golden glove, however he missed out on his third Champions league medal after United suffered a 2-0 loss in the final to Barcelona. 14 years after winning it the first time with Ajax Van Der Sar was awarded the Best European Goal Keeper award and was also one of the five players short listed for the PfA Players’ Player of the Year but it went to fellow team-mate Ryan Giggs.

Edwin Van Der Sar is currently playing out his contract at United which is set to expire at the end of the 2009-2010 season.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 9:29 pm

    Michael thank you for such a great post this is a wonderful addition to here and I am very happy you did this.

  2. Shonagh Mudie scm89 permalink
    February 15, 2010 12:50 am

    what a brilliant write up, it was very intersting to find out more about Van Der Sar. There is nothing quite like having safety at the back. The period between big Pete and Edwin was one that seen good keepers come but never be able to make the spot their own. It was brilliant getting Van Der Sar when we did and also that he’s stayed so long.

  3. Michael Ballard permalink
    February 15, 2010 1:24 am

    It was a pleasure Robi, im more than happy to contribute to this site in whatever way I can.

  4. adam (carpy) (blofeld) permalink
    February 15, 2010 6:55 pm

    a superb peice of work michael that was an enjoyment to read. i want to see your next peice of work. Many helpful facts and figures.

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