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Quit while you’re ahead, Sir Alex tells Manchester United goalkeeper van der Sar

Sir Alex Ferguson has urged Edwin van der Sar to ignore the dressing room pleas for him to extend his career by another season and quit whilst he is still on top of his game.

The Dutchman (40) earlier this year announced his intention to retire. Since then, he has maintained an impressively high standard, leading to calls from Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand among others to abandon his plans.

However, Ferguson is fearful that van der Sar's standards may start to slip rapidly and without warning.

And the Manchester United boss is too much of a fan to want that to happen.

“If I was giving advice to Edwin van der Sar, right now, I would say retire,” said Ferguson.

“He is at the absolute pinnacle of his career but sometimes, when a player gets to that age, age comes onto you very suddenly.

“I wouldn't want to see Edwin van der Sar in that situation. He deserves to go out at the very top and hopefully he does that.”

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Van der Sar is aiming to land the third Champions League triumph of his career, in addition to his fourth Premier League title since moving to United 2005.

“His career has been absolutely fantastic,” said Ferguson.

“It is not just what he does on the football field. It is how he has handles himself as a professional and a human being.

“In our dressing room at half-time and before games, he is absolutely fantastic.

“My advice to him is that this is the time. There is no reason for him to risk another year and maybe drop below his standard.”

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