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Man Utd´s Van der Sar sets sights on one more medal (SN)

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 May 2008


Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has hinted that he could retire when his current Old Trafford contract expires in 12 months time – and he is determined to bow out with at least one more Champions League winners medal to his name.

The 37-year-old former Ajax and Juventus man lines up in his third Champions League final when Sir Alex Ferguson's United face Chelsea in Moscow on Wednesday.

Van der Sar won European football's biggest club prize as a 24-year-old when he helped Ajax defeat AC Milan in Vienna in 1995.

A year later he reached the final again but experienced the bitter taste of defeat when his Dutch club lost on penalties to Juventus in Rome.

Twelve years on from his last appearance in the final, he is looking to help United repeat their feat of 1999 when they were crowned champions of Europe after winning the Premier League.

He admitted facing Chelsea in the Russian captial could be his final chance to become a member of an exclusive set of players to win two Champions League winners' medals.

Van der Sar's United contract expires next summer and the long-serving Holland international admitted that his opportunities are running out.

“Maybe in 1995 (when I won it) I felt I was going to get more opportunities,” he said.

“I'm going to play one or two more years so my opportunities are running out. I might as well take this chance.

“It is a great competition and I am really pleased to reach the final and have another chance again.

“I know what it is like to win and to lose the final. I know what it is like to have the high and the lowest point you can possibly get.

“It is massive. All the players know what they have to do. They know what they want.”

Van der Sar is desperate to repay Ferguson in Moscow for giving him the chance to shine on the Champions League stage again.

The Dutchman thought his opportunities of appearing in the competition were gone when he joined Fulham from Juventus in 2001 after an unhappy spell in Italy.

But Ferguson's decision to sign him three years ago presented the player with a chance to bow out on a high.

“During my time at Fulham I went to watch Chelsea a couple of times in the Champions League,” he recalled.

“I went to see them against Barcelona and Bayern Munich. I remember seeing Oliver Kahn doing the warm-up and thinking, 'I used to be doing this' and 'what must I do to get there again?'

“You hope that you get the chance and that someone will give you the opportunity to do it again.

“At Fulham, that was going to be difficult.

“That's why I am very grateful to get this opportunity with United. I'm enjoying it, I'm taking it all in and I'm concentrating on helping us get the trophy on Wednesday.”


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