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VDS Better Than De Gea, Valdés, Hart, Neuer, Casillas…

Congratulations to Edwin Van der Sar who is currently the highest ranked goalie in Europe.

Castrol Rankings is the world’s first rankings based on the actual performance of every football player across Europe’s top five leagues.

With a few weeks remaining, Van der Sar currently has a higher average performance than all the top keepers in Europe.

Remind me, why is he retiring again?

How Castrol Rankings work

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. itsfergietime says:

    first!! :P ..haha..kidding boys..vds the best!

  2. smartalex says:

    Congratulations Edwin, no surprise here. Keep up the good work!

  3. indiandevil says:

    Another reminder of what we’ll be missing from next season on :(

    Have a look at this, up yours ABU media:

  4. FlowersOfManc says:

    The same website also lists Frank Lampard as the current 4th best player in Europe, so I’m not entirely convinced by its accuracy.

  5. The Scottish Wonder says:

    He has three or four years left in him

  6. 11am says:

    Stats can be twisted and used as u like. Vds has the best defence in Europe in front of him (when they’re fully fit) his time has come and ill be half he’s going.

  7. shubhangmanred says:

    Also no Xavi or Iniesta in the top 20.

  8. smartalex says:

    Stats can even be twisted into a noose.

  9. willierednut says:

    Edwin must use castrol.

  10. Kings says:

    World Class and irreplaceable.

  11. Devil310 says:

    He’s 40 and his wife was very sick last year….Of course you know that Scott, but I think those are pretty solid reasons.

    Thank you for all the saves, VDS!

  12. rat1p says:

    vds is great but the castrol index is utterly shit

  13. King Eric says:

    A clas act. I am gonna really miss Edwin. Top bloke,.

  14. King Eric says:

    fucking shit keyboard – class.

  15. denton davey says:

    I’m of the opinion that VDS will be back next year. He’s played all the big, important matches so far and he has been very good – one howler against West Brom, a bobble against the Suarez free kick and wandering too far from his post on the first goal by LiverPoo, aside. He’s in excellent shape. and no one can control the ball and distribute with his assuredness. Sure, his wife was very dangerously sick but she’s recovered – so it seems to me that if his wife’s health was a crucial factor in giving up his career then I would have thought he’d have quite in the fall of 2009 when she had the stroke. Also, if he really was retiring then I am sure that SAF would have already brought in his real replacement – Lindegaard is a replacement for Kuszczak, not Edwin. A trophy-winning team is built on the foundation of a strong defence and that strong defence starts with the confidence that a keeper inspires in his team-mates. That confidence is not just about shot-stopping but also about the ability to command the area and control the ball – two aspects of the game at which Ben Foster failed so miserably

  16. Costas says:

    I’d take him at 40 over any of these keepers. Sadly, Edwin has the chance to leave at the top of his game and for a proud athlete like him, that’s something very difficult to pass up.

  17. MG says:

    Good luck to VDS

    He’s 40 and wants to spend time with a growing family especially after what happened to his wife

    We’ll miss him because he’s been a rock – but he has our blessing

    Thanks for everything – but you are not finished yet – finish it off before you walk away Keeper…

  18. amir221 says:

    I dont need the stats to believe that VDS is the best among them.

  19. Doghouse says:

    When VDS retires we’re going to need a new goalie and a sweeper.

  20. Saad says:


    Tell me something I dont know!


  21. bchilds says:

    “Edwin, don’t retire. Edwin, Edwin, don’t retire!”

  22. Jed says:

    Lampard and Malouda the 2 best midfielders in Europe…! Hmm

  23. TonyBee says:


  24. karun says:

    same ranking has Lampard as the best mid :|

    Don’t need any ranking to tell us how great Edwin has been :) Wish him the best in the future though would have loved for him to stay on for another 12 months. Hope he stays on at United in some capacity.

  25. redrider says:

    What has fwank and falooda done so far to get there? And i think i saw rooney somewhere in the top. Here’s to hopin they don’t pour some of that castrol in their ears.

  26. Ben says:

    Hah hah. Xavi down at #10.

    VDS is quality, but I wouldn’t get worked up about it.

  27. wayne says:

    read the other day sir alex is going to try and change his mind,give him less games not play him in cl qualifying stages etc,hope it happens he’s so cool his disribution and footwork is second to none for a keeper.

  28. Tannor says:

    Castrol ranking or not, who cares? VDS is the best there is….period….end of discussion.

  29. gazzer says:

    Edwin please don’t go-o-o
    I want you to know
    That I’m gonna miss your savin’
    The minute you walk out that door
    Please don’t go…….

  30. the scottish wonder says:

    Im sorry guys but Lampard is a great midfielder, one of the best in the world

    He is the most important player in the Chelsea team, without him they are rubbish

    Just like Arsenal are rubbish without RVP

  31. gazzer says:

    Think I agree with you Scottish.
    He’s a bit like Andersen plus a shitload of goals

  32. United says:

    @the scottish wonder

    Lampard is a great midfielder, 10-15 goals a season almost guaranteed just like Scholesy but he plays at the tip of a 433 and has zero defensive responsibility + is actually fairly limited when it comes to controlling a game and spraying the passes around. He is a great attacking midfielder rather than a complete midfielder like our guy ;)

  33. Walter Mitty says:

    Out of curiosity I checked out the “Castrol Rankings Explained” page, here:

    One problem with the rankings is how they claim to award points based on objective performance, and base it on the player’s touches of the ball. What they don’t claim to do is award points based on what the player’s doing off the ball.

    It’s a fatal flaw as a big part of football is about what a player is doing off the ball. Even if a player has twenty touches in the whole game, if he poses a big threat and forces the opposing team to double-team him for the whole game, he’s doing as much for his team as another player who (for instance) passes the ball sideways a hundred times a match.

    Lampard and Malouda may be effective when given the ball, but Xavi’s team is generally more effective because of the way Barcelona play, with their triangle-passing system (for instance).

    As for VDS, while he’s generally good, I’m guessing his ranking has been boosted in part by the assists he’s been getting with those long balls upfield. The thing I’m going to miss most about him is his distribution – and the assurance he brings to the defence. (The difference was particularly stark with Ben Foster – some of the best reflexes I’ve ever seen, but had crap distribution, crap decision-making and the defence always seemed that much more nervous when he was in goal.)

  34. MyCowIsTheBest says:

    I think VDS is the best GK in the world right now. What keeps him apart from others are his distribution and concentration. The assist wont exist if not for his exceptional distribution, which has been the launchpad to a lot of our attacks and counterattacks. While his reflex is as good as other younger world class GKs like Buffon and Casillas, VDS’ long balls are definitely better.

    And Castrol ranking is not a ranking system I am fond of. But i guess GKs are easier to rank than a midfielder, because he does not move far from his position. Hehe.

    As to why he is retiring, it is a shame, but what can we do if VDS chooses to prioritise his family. I will respect his decision and he will always be remembered as one of our great legends.

  35. redrider says:

    gazzer and scot wonder

    he takes all their pens, their free kicks and shoots like a loose assault rifle in front and inside the boy. The pens alone equals three quarters or more of his goal tally, and his shots get deflected by atleast half the opposition until it manages to end up inside the net. Great? Sure he’s got great stamina. He runs. But other than that he’s just a lucky bloke. Look what he’s done in the english setup. Has been trash and massively overrated. Surely a player of a much better calibre would have no such issues whatsoever. Most of his blindside passes which seems like intentional, are just that there’s a player nearby who happened to run into it. Can’t even compare Scholesy with fwank. One has been doin it for years. Other one just lucky. Remember WC 06?

  36. wayne says:

    his performance today shows why he’s ranked number 1

  37. Red Ben says:

    He’s retiring to look after his sick wife, a very valid reason, especially at his age.

    Of the rest, it’s got to be Neuer that we go for. Outstanding in a very poor Schalke side.


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