Who is Man United legend Edwin van der Sar?
Edwin van der Sar, who was born on 29 October 1970 in Voorhout, is a Dutch former professional footballer. Edwin played as a goalkeeper for the Premier League club Man United. Van der Sar is considered as one of the best shot-stoppers of all time.
Edwin signed for Man United in June 2005 for a reported fee of £2m, according to Skysports. On 6 May 2007, Chelsea’s failure to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium ensured the Red Devils’ ninth Premier League title and Van der Sar’s first.
The Dutch goalkeeper was also named in the 2006–07 PFA Team of the Year. Three months later, van der Sar was a catalyst in Man United’s 16th FA Community Shield win, as the goalkeeper saved three consecutive penalties in a shoot-out.
The 2007–08 campaign was Edwin’s best season since his arrival as the Dutchman helped the Red Devils secure their second successive Premier League trophy on the final day and win the Champions League by saving the final penalty of the shoot-out from Nicolas Anelka.
His last match for Man United was with Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League Final on 28 May, in which Red Devils lost 3–1.
Edwin van der Sar’s international career
Edwin was included in the national team’s 1994 World Cup squad but did not play. Van der Sar had to wait until June 1995 for his international debut with Belarus. The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 Mundial.
During all of his career with the national team, van der Sar had missed one competition. Edwin backstopped the national team to the semi-finals of the 1998 Mundial, where they were eliminated by Brazil 4–2 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.
Van der Sar finished the UEFA Euro 2000 without conceding a single goal but was left out of the Team of the Tournament in favour of France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez and Italy shot-stopper Francesco Toldo.
During the penalty shoot-out after the Euro 2004 quarter-final with Sweden, Edwin saved a penalty, as the Netherlands won the shoot-out 5–4 and advanced to the semi-finals, where they lost to Portugal.
As captain of the Netherlands, van der Sar broke Frank de Boer’s record of all-time caps for the national team in the 2006 World Cup second-round game with Portugal. Edwin intended to retire from international football after Euro 2008.
Van der Sar was the Netherlands captain in their fantastic 3–0 win against Italy in June 2008, and also June for the 4–1 win against France. On 21 June, Edwin played in the 3–1 quarter-final loss against Russia.