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Edwin van der Sar has confirmed he will quit football at the end of the season to spend more time with his family.
It has been suggested for a while that the Manchester United goalkeeper would hang up his gloves in the summer and the Dutchman has now confirmed his intention to step down from playing.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted earlier this season he fully expected the 40-year-old to call it quits at the end of the current campaign.
Ferguson was reportedly keen on having Van der Sar joining the coaching staff at Old Trafford, but the keeper says he will take a complete break from football in the summer.
Van der Sar has admitted he wants to spend more time with his wife Annemarie after she suffered a brain-related illness last year.
"I cannot really identify a time when it [the decision] happened," van der Sar told Sport-Promotion.nl.
"She has fought back from it. We decided on another year in England and thus to stay at Manchester United.
"But, once engaged in the season, the thought of saying goodbye started to gnaw a bit more emphatically.
"Do not ask me how or why, but suddenly you know. That was sufficient.
"The time has come to pay greater attention to my family.
"Although they have never complained, everyone in the family has indeed always had to focus on me, but all together we have also had a lot in return."
The former Holland international insists his age played no part in his decision to quit as he still feels fit at the age of 40.
"No, my age played no role," added Van der Sar. "I am 40 years old, but I still feel fit."
6 amazing years with an amazing keeper. as Grantona said we really have had some shocking Keepers! massive respect for Edwin for his decision and for the fact that he has been easily one of the top 3 Best keepers United have every Had! we will miss You Edwin! Fergies toughest job is to replace him! you could easily replace a star player but decent Keepers of Edwins calibre are very rare
Posted 22:10 27th January 2011
A true giant of the game, brilliant keeper, lovely man... a legend of the game
Posted 22:03 27th January 2011
@Andy Turnbull, you've clearly been wearing your Howard Webb tinted spectacles. He regularly drops the ball these days. I'm not disputing the fact that he WAS a great keeper, he just isn't now. And no, compared to you, he didn't make many mistakes. You should proofread your comments before you submit them. And are you actually claiming that he's only ever made ONE mistake?
Posted 21:53 27th January 2011
I would just like to emphasize credit where its due that its nice and welcome to see fellow supporters from rival clubs such as Liverpool and Everton etc acknowledge and appreciate the talent and integrity of a man like VDS. Just shows what high regard he was held in by all and not to mention just United fans. More importantly it shows theres more true football fans out there than i realised, whoever they follow. A breath of fresh air and VDS on behalf of all true fans, good luck and thanks for the memories.
Posted 20:57 27th January 2011
Edwin will be sorely missed, it's a close run thing between him and smikes as to who is our best number 1. As for a replacement lets really rock the boat and rally push through a deal for Reina!!!
Posted 20:43 27th January 2011
@Deano Farooq you are an idiot this isn't about Manchester united it's about respecting one of the greatest keepers ever good luck Edwin a true legend you will be sorely missed at old Trafford
Posted 20:35 27th January 2011
A credit to world football a real ambassador for the game its self!!
Posted 20:06 27th January 2011
Gutted to hear VDS is retiring but wishing him very best for his future and hoping his wife will recover soon . Farewell VDS ,hope u go with one more premier league winner's medal and Champions league trophy or may a treble again
Posted 19:45 27th January 2011
Im glad he's finally retiring, sure hes been a decent assest to our club, but hes not a great keeper. No more van der drop, van.der punch, van der slice ... I could go on. I too hope for akinfeev, he was very impressive against us, hes young and has played at a high level. (how much to pay tho.....???)
Posted 19:40 27th January 2011
In the last 20 years Manchester United fans have been well and truley spoilt rotten. We had 8 fantastic years watching the greatest goalkeeper of all time in the 90s,Peter Schmeichel. And for the last 6 years we have had a masterclass from Van Der Sar. I hope it does not take us as long to replace Van Der Sar as it took us to replace Schmeichel. We had some right rubbish in between the 2 greats, ie Bosnich, Van Der Gouw, Barthez, Taibi, Carrol and Howard. All the best to Edwin, what a legend, hopefully you can go out with a bang at the end of the season in the way Schmeichel did in 1999!!
Posted 19:16 27th January 2011
One of the best goalkeepers of the modern game. Maybe better than Schmeichel. Definitely on par at least. They wont be able to replace him in the short term.
Posted 19:13 27th January 2011
well, although i am not a Man Utd fan, I just want to wish Edwin all the best for the future. I am sure, he will be massively missed.
Posted 18:53 27th January 2011
It as been a honour edwin to watch you perform in the famous man utd strip, youve served all your clubs and country to the highest standard but at times in life your family must come first, we did well having you playon after your wifes stroke God Bless You All and Good Luck
Posted 18:24 27th January 2011
what a legend .sad to see you go and only wish you had signed earlier for united. hopefuly saf can replace you with someone of the same clas.
Posted 18:20 27th January 2011
i think skelenburg should replace van der sar
Posted 18:07 27th January 2011
All the best to you Edwin, our penalty box felt a safer place with you there! As for replacements....first thing we should do is get rid of Kuzczak! He may be a "good shot stopper" but that's the reason a person becomes a keeper! Not commanding enough, good enough on crosses and seems to have an aversion to catching! Lindegaard is apparently a very good prospect, but I think he should be number two to someone ready made. I'd have Shay Given any day...great keeper! Or there's that Ben Foster at Birmingham apparently he's pretty good! Haha!
Posted 17:59 27th January 2011
I very much regret that the Great Edwy left us, that sooner or later would have happened, but I believe in the talent of a coach that he will cope with the situation at its best. Edwin, I wish you every success in his future life. THANK YOU! From Russia with love for you Edwin! "
Posted 17:59 27th January 2011
i hope that van der sar he did good things to man u but the question is who is areplacement.
Posted 17:55 27th January 2011
I stand, take my hat off to you & applaud you. You're amongst the greatest goalkeepers to ever wear the no.1 jersey at Old Trafford, Yare the perfect role model to youngsters
Posted 17:30 27th January 2011
What a keeper! Sorry Chelsea fans but he was better then Czech in his first few years. Man Utd only went on that incredible run of not conceding for however many games it was because of Edwin. No disrespect to the defenders but when Fergie rested him Man U conceded. All the best in whatever he does, Man U are going to sorely miss him.
Posted 17:25 27th January 2011
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