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On This Day in 2011: Man Utd goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar announces retirement

Edwin Van der Sar won four Premier League titles with Manchester United before retiring in 2011.
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar announced his decision to retire at the end of the ongoing season on this day in 2011.

The former Holland international, 40 years old at the time, moved to Old Trafford from Fulham in 2005 and helped the Red Devils to four Premier League titles and Champions League glory in 2008.

Van Der Sar memorably saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty as United beat Chelsea in a shoot-out to win their third European Cup in Moscow.

Van Der Sar won the Champions League in 2008 after saving Nicolas Anelka's penalty.

Van Der Sar won the Champions League in 2008 after saving Nicolas Anelka’s penalty (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Making the announcement, he revealed he had been contemplating retirement since his wife Annemarie collapsed with a brain haemorrhage in December 2009.

Van Der Sar started his career with Ajax in 1990 and enjoyed nearly a decade of success in Amsterdam.

He picked up four Eredivisie titles and three Dutch cups on the domestic front and savoured European success with a UEFA Cup win in 1992 and Champions League glory three years later.

Two years at Juventus followed before a switch to Fulham in 2001. He soon established himself as one of the most reliable keepers in England and attracted the attention of United in 2005.

Van Der Sar now works as chief executive of Ajax.

Van Der Sar now works as chief executive of Ajax (John Walton/PA)

Mark Bosnich, Massimo Taibi, Raimond Van Der Gouw, Fabien Barthez, Roy Carroll and Ricardo had all tried and failed to command the United defence in the same manner as Peter Schmeichel had done before them – but it was Van Der Sar’s arrival which drew a line under the Dane’s tenure.

He would also collect 130 caps for Holland, a number only later eclipsed by Wesley Sneijder.

After hanging up his gloves, Van Der Sar would eventually take a role in marketing at former club Ajax – where he would go on to become the chief executive in 2016.

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