Edwin van der Sar on moving from the pitch to the executive suite
Edwin van der Sar won two UEFA Champions League titles, in 1995 with Ajax and 2008 with Manchester United. Now, the Dutch keeper works in the front office of his home country's most celebrated club. Hear Edwin van der Sar talk about his career, what it takes to be a world-class keeper, and his move to becoming a football executive.
To anyone who watched him play, Edwin van der Sar seemed to have a sixth sense about football. Whether it was a lightning-quick shot in the run of play or a penalty kick, the legendary goalkeeper somehow knew where the ball was going and got there first.
This extraordinary vision made him arguably one of the greatest keepers in football history during a career with Ajax, Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United. And that same vision, along with a lifetime of knowledge, has guided him during his second act as CEO of Ajax AFC.
A native of the Netherlands, van der Sar played with youth clubs before joining Ajax. There, he began his astonishing run of success, helping his team win the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League and earning the 1995 Best European Goalkeeper award—the first of many individual honours.
In 1999, he signed with Juventus, becoming the first non-Italian keeper in the Turin club's history. There, his shot-stopping abilities helped them win that year's UEFA Intertoto Cup, a feat he accomplished again in 2002 with Fulham of the English Premier League.
At Manchester United, van der Sar revealed his full potential. During his tenure, United won four Premier League titles, along with the Football League Cup, FA Community Shield (three times), UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup. His save in the penalty shootout of the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea clinched the trophy for United.
Edwin van der Sar's international career is no less impressive, having represented the Netherlands in both the 1998 and 2006 World Cups as well as Euro 2000, Euro 2004, and Euro 2008.