January 27, 2011

Edwin Van Der Sar to retire at the end of the season

United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar will hang up his gloves at the end of this season.

The 40-year-old former Netherlands international joined United from Fulham in 2005 and has made 245 appearances for the Old Trafford club, winning three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League crown. Van der Sar's wife fell seriously ill in December 2009.

"I cannot really identify a time when it [the decision] happened," said Van der Sar. "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.

"But, once engaged in the season, the thought of saying goodbye started to gnaw a bit more emphatically."

1970: Born Voorhout, Holland, October 29.

1990: Makes debut for Ajax, having come through the club's youth system.

1992: Wins UEFA Cup with Ajax.

1994: Wins first Dutch title with Ajax.

1995: Plays key role as Ajax win Champions League, beating AC Milan in final.

Also wins Super Cup and Dutch League. Named Europe's Best Goalkeeper by UEFA.

1996: Ajax complete hat-trick of Dutch League titles - but lose Champions League crown to Juventus in a penalty shoot-out. Holland suffer miserable European Championship campaign in England, with van der Sar in goal during 4-1 loss to Terry Venables' side at Wembley.

1997: Ajax finish fourth in league - 16 points behind champions PSV Eindhoven - in a season which again sees van der Sar a fixture between the posts.

1998: Ajax win league title again, van der Sar capping another season of success with a penalty in 8-1 drubbing of De Graafschap in penultimate match.

Van der Sar helps Holland to World Cup semi-final where they are beaten by Brazil on penalties.

1999: After winning a host of honours with Ajax - who finish a disappointing sixth in the Dutch championship - completes move to Juventus, becoming the first non-Italian goalkeeper in the club's history.

2000: Makes 32 appearances for Juve but a last-match defeat costs them the title as Lazio pip them at the post.

Holland are beaten by Italy in the semi-finals of Euro 2000.

2001: Juventus finish runners-up in Serie A.

July 31 - Signs four-year contract with Premiership newcomers Fulham.

2005: January 25 - Extends contract with Fulham until the summer of 2006.

June 5 - Manchester United reach agreement with Fulham, signing him for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £7million.

2006: World Cup campaign with Holland ends in second round as they lose 1-0 to Portugal.

2007: May - United's attempt to end season with silverware ends as Didier Drogba scores the only goal in extra-time to win the FA Cup for Chelsea.

August - Makes three saves to give United a Community Shield penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea.

2008: United win Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow, with Van der Sar making the decisive save in a penalty shoot-out to deny Nicolas Anelka.

2009: Sets record of 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal in the Premier League.

United lose Champions League final to Barcelona but Van der Sar wins UEFA's Best Goalkeeper award for the second time.

2010: January 27 - Announces retirement at end of current season.