Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar will retire from football at the end of the 2010-11 season. Now 40, the stalwart in goal and former Holland international moved to United from Fulham in 2005 and helped United win three Premier League titles and famously, a UEFA Champions League title in 2008.
Van der Sar's heroics in goal for United during the final's culminating penalty shootout witnessed the Dutchman dramatically save an attempt from Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka to win United's third European Cup. Van der Sar was quoted on his management agency's website as saying, "It is now time to pay attention to my family".
Reports have suggested that Van der Sar has contemplated hanging his gloves up since his wife Annemarie collapsed with a brain hemorrhage in December of 2009. Van der Sar again:
"Let's just say that it was playing on my mind from the moment Annemarie had her stroke. She has fought back from it. We decided on another year in England and thus to stay at Manchester United".
While it seems as if VDS's decision to call it quits was once unknown, one thing's for certain: Van der Sar will retire, alongside Peter Schmeichel, as one of the all time great keepers at Manchester United. Having started his career with Ajax in Holland, VDS has made a combined 593 appearances in goal for four different top-flight European clubs spanning three countries - Holland's Ajax, Italy's Juventus and England's Fulham and Manchester United. Through almost 600 competitive matches, VDS has accumulated a myriad of individual accolades and club silverware including Cups and league titles in the Eredivisie and the FIFA Club World Cup with Manchester United.