Edwin van der Sar has confirmed he will quit football at the end of the season to spend more time with his family.
It has been suggested for a while that the Manchester United goalkeeper would hang up his gloves in the summer and the Dutchman has now confirmed his intention to step down from playing.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted earlier this season he fully expected the 40-year-old to call it quits at the end of the current campaign.
Ferguson was reportedly keen on having Van der Sar joining the coaching staff at Old Trafford, but the keeper says he will take a complete break from football in the summer.
Van der Sar has admitted he wants to spend more time with his wife Annemarie after she suffered a brain-related illness last year.
"I cannot really identify a time when it [the decision] happened," van der Sar told Sport-Promotion.nl.
On my mind"Let's just say that it was playing on my mind from the moment Annemarie had her stroke.
"She has fought back from it. We decided on another year in England and thus to stay at Manchester United.
"But, once engaged in the season, the thought of saying goodbye started to gnaw a bit more emphatically.
"Do not ask me how or why, but suddenly you know. That was sufficient.
"The time has come to pay greater attention to my family.
"Although they have never complained, everyone in the family has indeed always had to focus on me, but all together we have also had a lot in return."
The former Holland international insists his age played no part in his decision to quit as he still feels fit at the age of 40.
"No, my age played no role," added Van der Sar. "I am 40 years old, but I still feel fit."
Who should be Edwin van der Sar's long-term replacement?