Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Edwin van der Sar aims to retire as European champion

Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar is determined not to end his career with a never-ending sense of ‘what if'.

After an emotional farewell at Old Trafford on Sunday, which itself came after what Sir Alex Ferguson described as “a wobble”, the 40 year old will play his final game this weekend when Manchester United tackle Barcelona in the Champions League final.

It will be the fifth time he has been involved in such an occasion, a record for a goalkeeper, with his personal statistics standing at two won and two lost.

But the man who lifted the UEFA Cup as a 21 year old with Ajax is experienced enough to know it is the failures that gnaw at the soul.

And with no way of making amends, it is even more crucial United should emerge victorious.

“You do think more about things you lose than what you win,” said the veteran Dutchman. When you have won, your medal goes into the cupboard or the safe in the bank.

“But when you lose, you know something has slipped through your fingers. It makes you more determined.”

Always one of the more straightforward characters in the United dressing room, the former Juventus star gives the impression of spending the least amount of time possible considering the final.

“It is a big day for everyone involved in Manchester United, not just me,” he said.

“It was fantastic to be able to say goodbye to the fans at Old Trafford on Sunday too.

“But really I am just looking forward to Saturday now.

“This game is what we have been working so hard to prepare for.”

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