United stay shocks Van der Sar
Man Utd keeper Edwin van der Sar has admitted he never expected his stay at the club to last as long as it has.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 06/05/10 4:40pm
Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has admitted he never expected his stay at the club to last as long as it has.
The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford in 2005 from Fulham and has enjoyed glittering success under Sir Alex Ferguson's stewardship.
Van der Sar has three Premier League titles and a Champions League gong to his name - although he never anticipated spending nearly six years at one of the most successful teams in the world.
And after extending his stay at United for another year, the 39-year-old has his eyes on rounding off his career with the honour of a testimonial match in tribute to his service for the club.
Van der Sar told Inside United: "I still believed I was doing enough to play for a bigger team but you need someone to take a gamble, which Sir Alex Ferguson did. At the time I was 34 so I didn't expect to be here six years.
"I thought that I would be at United for two years and then maybe go and do something else. Instead I am steadily trying to reach my testimonial."
The former Ajax and Juventus man could have found his stay at the Red Devils cut short earlier in the season as it emerged his wife had been suffering from a serious illness.
But after holding talks with Annemarie, Van der Sar agreed to continue plying his trade, even though many at his age would be hanging up the gloves.
He joins the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs enjoying finer moments well into the later stages of their careers', however the Dutchman has no explanations as to why he continues to defy the ravages of time.
He went on: "It was important my wife felt okay with it. If she had said she would rather go back to Holland then we would have done that.
"But I had made up my mind in December that I would keep playing and join the other old boys, who keep on going.
"My position is not as demanding as Paul and Ryan, who have had to run and tackle a lot. But the main thing is we are all still enjoying it."
Van der Sar's task in the meantime is to try help United claim an unprecedented fourth successive title, which would mean beating Stoke on the final day and hoping Chelsea slip up against Wigan.
After usually finding his team in the driving seat, relying on other results is a situation unfamiliar position for the keeper, however he remains hopeful more silverware will be coming his way.
He added: "It is very strange. In the last three years we have been in command. Now we have to wait. It is going to be difficult.
"We have lost a lot of games this year but we are still in there at the end. Hopefully Wigan will have a go for it on Sunday and we will hear some positive news."