Premier League - Ferguson: Van der Sar to retire

Thu, 23 Dec 13:51:00 2010

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has confirmed he expects goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire at the end of the season.

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The Dutchman celebrated his 40th birthday earlier this year yet, apart from one mistake against West Brom in October, he has still been performing to his usual high standards.

However, Van der Sar has always been mindful of the potential for a dip in standards and while the player himself has remained silent on the issue, Ferguson feels this campaign will be his last.

"We are planning for this being his last season," Ferguson said.

Van der Sar is one of the most experienced keepers in the game, having won four Dutch titles, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup at Ajax before claiming his second European crown at United in 2008, where he also won three straight Premier League winners medals.

As such, he is certain to offer plenty in a coaching capacity once he hangs up his gloves, something on which Ferguson agrees.

"We have not discussed it," he said. "But Edwin is a player who would be of interest in terms of his knowledge and standing in the game."

Earlier this season, Van der Sar firmly denied he had made his mind up over quitting after United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele said this would be his final campaign as a player.

Van der Sar said back in October: "That's complete nonsense. I don't yet know whether I will stop or continue after this season. Only in the course of this season will I think about it. Then I will decide and not before."

However, it now seems certain that his mind has been made up.

PA Sport / Eurosport

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