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Manchested United Goalkeeper to Retire

PTI 27 Jan 2011, 17:12:50 IST
The Hague, Netherlands, Jan 27 :  Veteran Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar confirmed Thursday he will retire at the end of the season.

The Netherlands' most-capped player with 130 appearances says he wants to spend more time with his family.

The 40-year-old keeper said in a statement issued by his management that he still feels fit, but "enough is enough." Van der Sar's wife Annemarie suffered a stroke last year.

"She fought back bravely, so we decided to stay in England and at Manchester United for another year," Van der Sar said. "But once the season began, the thought of saying goodbye began to gnaw at me."

Van der Sar rose to prominence with Ajax before playing for Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United in a career spanning 21 seasons.

Van der Sar said his most memorable save came in the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea when he stopped a penalty from Nicolas Anelka to help Manchester United lift Europe's top club trophy.

"I've made better saves, but that one was so decisive," he said. "The joy I experienced with the team after that was so intense I'll never forget it."

Among a lengthy list of trophies, he also won the Champions League in 1995 and the UEFA Cup in 1992 with Ajax, as well as four Eredivisie league titles with the Dutch powerhouse. He has won three Premier League titles with Manchester United.

"It's a list I can be proud of, and I am," Van der Sar said. "But I'm not finished yet and I hope to add a few more prizes to the list with United this season."

Manchester United is top of the Premiership and still in contention in the Champions League and FA Cup.

Van der Sar said his biggest disappointment was never winning a prize with the Netherlands national team.

"We came close, but it wasn't to be." AP