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VDS: I’ve Always Wanted A Save I’ll Be Remembered For… Now I Have It

Edwin Van der Sar has been centre of attention over the past few months, following his great record in goal. It’s hard to believe that before Wednesday night, the last time we conceded in the league was our 2-1 defeat at the Emirates, which feels like forever ago.

He has today spoken about the impact Sir Alex Ferguson has had on his career, claiming he would have retired by now if not given the opportunity to play for United, as well as reflecting on that night in Moscow.

“If I had stayed at Fulham I would have quit the game by now,” said Van der Sar. “After my third and fourth year there, I thought my chance of playing for a big club again had gone. I went to Fulham for the project they explained to me — but it didn’t really work out. I might have been playing at a high level for the national team but I was starting to miss those European nights and challenging for titles. At certain times you start to — maybe not lose the faith — but just wonder how long it will take until someone picks me up. I was thinking, ‘Is it just me? Do I think I’m better than any manager does? Do they think I am just too old or not good enough?’ But Alex Ferguson bought me and I have to admit, if I had not been at Manchester United, I’d have stopped playing by now.”

Van der Sar got his moment in the limelight after making his presence felt between the posts on Moscow. He knew which way Nicolas Anelka was going to strike the penalty but pointed to the other corner anyway, daring the Frenchman to change his side. Anelka didn’t dare though and Edwin palmed the ball away, winning Manchester United the European Cup.

“One thing I always wanted was to make a particular save that you would always be remembered for,” he added. “Stopping what proved to be the last penalty in a Champions League final is that moment — something you will cherish for the rest of your life, because you know how important that was for the players, the club and yourself.”

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. costas says:

    I may be totaly against the run of play here but i remember VDS for another significant save.The Anelka penalty save was good but it is Anelka we rae talking about.He was the only Chelsea player that night to shoot the penalty at VDS’s strong side.All of the others hit theirs to his left.Anyway,i will always remember his save at Anfield when we won with O’Shea’s goal.We were down to 10 men and Crouch had a golden opportunity.VDS changed his body swerve while he was already diving in order to block it.Top top save!

  2. David Quinn says:

    He’s made some cracking saves, the one costas mentioned is definately on that list. His save against liedson as well in the champions league last year was fantastic too.

  3. wazza says:

    my best pic after that pen was saved was of all United players starting their fastest sprint in their lives from the half line towards VDS.That pic is full of emotions & just priceless !!!

  4. costas says:

    You know what’s my favourite moment in that Wazza?Ronaldo starts to go,then suddenly collapses!Oh and let’s not forget that Rio pointed at VDS to dive to his left,thinking what i said above that all of the Chelsea penalties went that way.Soooo glad VDS didn’t hear him.Rio could have cost us the Ch.League!

  5. Nino says:

    VDS save vs. AS Roma in last years CL QF 1st Leg was unreal!

  6. olusanjo says:

    Edwin van der Save has made a lot of top class saves since he joined united. we cannot start counting, we can only thank God for giving SAF the vision to go for him.
    can you guys believe i still had a little shivering when i saw that pix posted by wazza. the whole memory came flooding back in. evra did not show in that pix because he gave himself some space to run by rio’s left, ando and nani were screaming and running. hargo sprinting off towards VDS, vida and carrick taking off late out of disbelief, giggsy would be the last because he was trying to console cr7 and also his tired legs.
    it was a really wonderful moment. not just because we won but also because the rentboys were made to get so close and see it slip out of their hands through the immaturity of their teary terry.

  7. Drabik says:

    How many times does it have to be mentioned?!?!?!

    The last time we conceded before that 2-1 win against Newcastle was …. against Blackburn – Remember that ? Yea it wasn’t long ago….

    The last time HE (VDS) conceded in the league was against Arsenal. Maybe if VDS had played that game (or Foster) we might have kept a clean sheet, but we’ll never know.

    My point is you can’t just forget that blackburn broke the team’s record, newcastle broke VDS’ personal record.

  8. wazza says:

    costas, that moment of Ron startin d sprint & suddenly collapsin was a bit selfish of him.he cud have ran wit d others & celebrate wit d whole team.

  9. five says:

    I think its stupid to critisize Ronaldo at that moment.

    You’d have to be dead inside to know how to control your emotions at a night like that, he was one kick away from being refered to as the guy that cost United the Champions League and the relief must have been incredible and its not like he didnt join in the celebrations later.

  10. Drew Vader says:

    I agree Wazza, I hate how Ronaldo dropped down to cry instead of sprinting with the rest of the lads to celebrate together, as a TEAM. I hate it mainly because it made the camera guys stop filming the sprinting lads and they all immediately went in on the girl crying………. Sorry, check that, the United Girl crying, not the Chelsea girl crying…..


  11. Kings says:

    Should of signed him back in 99, but the main thing is we have him at United. Great keeper. Future’s looking good with Foster now ready to stake his claim as United’s next number 1.

  12. olired says:

    I suppose Ronaldo’s job doesn’t make him less human…

  13. klauq says:

    Yeah i agree with olired. The others did not have the feelings like Ronaldo had, simply because he was the only one who missed his penalty. It is a tremendous emotional turbulence there for him. It reminds me of my own experience, though on a very much smaller scale. How it was a relief to win. broke me into tears instantly. I dont know if there is a player who can be that selfish and arrogant at THAT moment.


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