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Name Edwin van der Sar
Gender Male
Ethnic Dutch
Job Dutch Footballer
  Ajax chief executive
Desc A case can be made that the Dutchman was equal to any goalkeeper in the league’s history. After years of failure to find a successor to Peter Schmeichel, Sir Alex Ferguson stole Van der Sar for a meager £2m from Fulham, securing a key cog in four titles during his time at the club

Affiliation

Org Ajax
  Dutch National Team
Club as Player Juventus
  Manchester United
  Fulham FC
  Ajax

Relationship

Son Joe van der Sar

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] The sight of Ferdinand and Vidic marshaling the defense at Old Trafford will live long in the memory. I formed a really good triangle with Rio and Nemanja. They were in the prime of their career – I was at the end of mine [. . .]. When I said one word they did it and they trusted me. If I said left, right, come down or anything they would do it and I think we formed the backbone to a very successful Manchester United team

2019 06 03 Retrieve

[Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar on Ajax’s success this season] The core we have is the development of players and talents. Giving the opportunity, it doesn’t matter how young you are. If you are good enough then you play. Giving opportunities, giving possibilities, that is what this club is about

[Van der Sar uses an old picture of De Ligt he found from before his 2011 testimonial as an example. Aged 11, he was lining up in a youth side against Van der Sar’s son, who was representing Manchester United] That was eight years ago. He has been at the academy, he has seen others training at the same complex, eating at the same table. And now he is 19, he is the captain. Other players see him as an example and want to be like him

2019 09 12 Retrieve

[Ajax chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar has rejected speculation linking him with a return to Manchester United] No, I’m focused on my job as chief executive at Ajax. We had a fantastic year in Europe last year, also won the league in Holland. We want Ajax at a higher European level and making sure we get back to the elite. That’s what we’re working on. I’m enjoying my time at Ajax. We touched the top level last year and we have to make sure we have the best opportunity to stay there

2019 09 12b Retrieve

[Edwin van der Sar says David de Gea is not indispensable at Manchester United if his contract offer remains unsigned] Other goalkeepers can also fill the gap. There are a few Premier League goalkeepers playing at the club who can also take the step up. I was 34 when I went to United, so there are lots of opportunities there. The decision needs to come at a certain point. It’s taken a long time now, so it’s a case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but I’m not a director of United

[Van der Sar insists that all great players go through dips in form and expects David de Gea to be back to his best soon] That happened to me, it happened to [Ryan] Giggs also, to everyone. Your form differs. He has been for so long at such a high level, so at a certain point it gets noticed [when your form dips], maybe not the first two times, but then people start to write about it. But he’ll be fine. He’s a great goalkeeper

[Van der Sar about the possibility of a return to England] You never know. At the moment, Ajax is the principle thought where I’m putting all my time and effort in and whatever happens, we will see.

2019 10 10 Retrieve

[Edwin van der Sar has suggested strong characters have all disappeared from Manchester United as the club fails to reach its former heights] I think for ourselves, when I came in the dressing room we had Ryan Giggs, you had Paul Scholes, you had Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and even Roy Keane at that time. So I think there’s always been strong characters. And I think for the last couple of years the strong characters have disappeared and not making a difference anymore.

I left there eight years ago and it was a tremendous last six years of my career, winning four Premier League titles and playing in three Champions League finals. So it’s a long way from the position where they are in now. And of course they have changed managers a couple times now and the real progress is not seen yet, only the thing that they bought in the summer. They bought younger, inexperienced players with a certain desire and hunger, and not like the big names they bought the last six, seven years

[Van der Sar admits the club’s lack of recent success may make signings in the future increasingly difficult] Of course, the name is there. And of course the following they have all over the world. But for a player … you want to play at a certain level, you also want to have an idea that you can win trophies and they must take that opportunity also to improve the squad and make the world-class players they have, or the players that they’re going to sign, that they feel welcome and that there’s a good path to where they’re going to go to

2019 10 12 Retrieve

[Edwin van der Sar has admitted that he would be open to a front office role at Manchester United at some point in the future] Besides my family, my wife and kids and everything I have two loves in my life. That’s Ajax, who gave me the opportunity to develop, they scouted me, they gave me the chance to shine in the world of football. And the last club of my career (Manchester United) also gave me a lot of attention, recognition and everything, developed at a later stage. And of course, I’d be interested in a position.

[Though he is interested in a move back to England, the 48-year-old said he may not quite be ready to trade in the Johan Cruyff Arena for Old Trafford] I need to learn a little more here [at Ajax], develop myself further and eventually let’s see what the future brings. United is a fantastic club, there’s a great following all over the world. Everybody wants to play for them and eventually, work for them

2019 10 14 Retrieve

[Ajax CEO and former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar says his side hope to set a good example as an eco-friendly club] Compliments to NS and Eurostar that this train journey has been made possible. We live in a climate-conscious time and we want to set a good example as a club. Lille is an excellent destination for a train journey in terms of location, which is why we approached NS with this idea. For Erik ten Hag and his men, this seems to us to be a more efficient and less tiring journey. Because the performance that Ajax has to deliver in Lille is of course paramount

2019 10 15 Retrieve

[Former Man Utd goalkeeper Van der Sar reveals how he could’ve joined Liverpool] I had two options and could have transferred to Liverpool or Dortmund. Both clubs hesitated a bit, so in the end I chose Fulham

[The two-time Champions League winner had his say on the debate that has gripped German international football in recent months: whether Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer or Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen should play in goal] I’m not the coach of the German national team, so fortunately I do not have to deal with this question. I do not know who to choose. But I can say this: they are both extremely good goalkeepers. The national coach will decide which of them will fit better into the system in the end.

[Van der Sar, who is the Ajax managing director, believes that Bayern head coach Niko Kovac has his work cut out for him] It will be difficult to win the Champions League. We experienced that last year with Ajax and there are a lot of good teams competing in this competition. But, of course, they will always belong to the extended circle of favourites. Who will win the tournament in the end? I have no idea

2019 10 23 Retrieve

[Van der Sar says he is not considering leaving the Eredivisie champions at the moment] I’ve said before, I want to make this a success at Ajax. As a player, you always needed to build up qualities and your strengths. Now I’m trying it out and experiencing a lot of different things here, I’ve still got some unfinished business. If we could have taken it one step further last year [getting to the Champions League final], it could have been a step already, but at the moment I’m concentrating on Ajax

2020 01 09 Retrieve

[Ajax faced criticism for their decision to train in Qatar due to the political problems in the region. But CEO and club legend Edwin van der Sar dismissed such criticism, saying Ajax should not be making political statements] We know what is going on in the world, we are not alien to the world. But Ajax is not the party to make a statement about this. We are a large company, but not to that extent. I think the royal family sometimes goes there

2020 03 26 Retrieve

[Ajax star Nouri improving and watching football after waking from coma] Had this happened, it’s possible that Abdelhak would have come out in a better condition. This isn’t certain, but it’s a possibility. We recognise our responsibility and liability for the consequences of this

2020 04 24 Retrieve

[Ajax chief Van der Sar​: Missing out on Eredivisie title is ‘understandable’] As a player you want to become champion and you want to become champion on the pitch. We have been number one in the rankings all season so it’s a pity there’s no champion. But given the circumstances it’s very understandable. There are far more important issues than football, but as a player you always have the ambition to become champion

(Ajax technical director) Marc Overmars already spoke about an emergency fund and I feel the same way. We are the biggest club in the Netherlands and we should help the other clubs to survive. But unfortunately we take hits too. A major part of our income comes from the home matches and they are cancelled. We are speaking about dozens of millions

2020 04 25 Retrieve

[Van der Sar has also revealed why he wore number 19 when he joined Manchester United in 2005] Tim Howard had been in goal during the previous season and they brought me in as first goalkeeper. But I didn’t want to take his number away from him. My spot between the sticks was most important

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and any other clubs sniffing around the likes of Andre Onana and Donny van de Beek have been warned by Edwin van der Sar, Ajax’s chief executive, that there will be no ‘50 per cent discount’ handed out by the Dutch side] In January last year, people said we were going to lose seven or eight players but we lost only two key members. The big clubs such as Bayern Munich have said the benchmark fee will go down in the next few transfer windows, but it’s easier for them to say because they are the buyers. Of course, the €150 to 200 million transfers are gone, but I think there is still a lot of value for players who come from Ajax. Well educated, experienced in winning and playing European football. Last year, we made verbal agreements with Onana, [Nicolas] Tagliafico, Van de Beek to stay another season and then we look to help each other and find the next step in their careers. Nothing has changed. There won’t be a 50% discount. The clubs can forget about that

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Van der Sar hopes ‘two or three’ new Man Utd signings will ensure they can compete with Liverpool] The honeymoon period [under Solskjaer] was great. Then they hit a rocky patch and I think the last seven, eight, nine weeks, they’ve been playing better football. The points were coming in. They had some good results against good teams also. Of course, for them, I hope that the league is going to resume because they probably will need those Champions League places. I think the main thing for them is to focus on the next season and hopefully, with two or three additions, they’ll be competitive again to Liverpool and Manchester City

Consistency, a winning mentality. Maybe they can solve what’s going to happen with Paul [Pogba], is he going to stay? I’m sure that with [David] De Gea, with [Harry] Maguire, with Fernandes, with [Marcus] Rashford, with [Anthony] Martial, they have a good line, I think, in the middle. And besides that, they’ve also a lot of young players developing as always at United, so in that way, I’m positive for next season for them.

In my view, with the type of football they played and the points they are ahead, it would be extremely harsh. The Premier League is a well-run league and of course there are big interests on the financial side, the commercial sides. But I’m sure they will make a wise decision if they keep on playing or if the league stops, what the results will be depending on Champions League places, relegation or awarding a title to Liverpool. If the league doesn’t resume, I presume everybody will be OK if Liverpool wins the title

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Van der Sar insists coronavirus won’t force club’s hand amid Van de Beek links] We know players have an ambition to leave for a better competition after a few years, but this will only happen on the conditions of Marc Overmars and Ajax. There will always be some who benefit from a crisis and some clubs will have to sell for less, but I think we’re in a fortunate position thanks to our strong financial policy. Therefore we don’t have to sell, but we made agreements with the players. These won’t go below a certain price level. We won’t let go of our players for sale prices. We prefer to keep them here.

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[Donny van de Beek: Why is the Ajax star such an in-demand transfer target?] Last year, we made verbal agreements with [Andre] Onana, [Nicolas] Tagliafico and Van de Beek to stay another season, and then we look to help each other and find the next step in their careers. Nothing has changed. There won’t be a 50 per cent discount. The clubs can forget about that