After finishing 7th last season and missing out on Champions League football this year as a result, Manchester United are one step closer to playing in Europe again next season after finishing fourth.

Edwin Van der Sar has discussed the importance of being in the competition from the perspective of a player.

The Champions League is the place to be. And with all the money that goes into the competition, it’s the Holy Grail. It wasn’t just the games I enjoyed, but also the build-up to them during the day. Then, with the floodlights on and perhaps a wet pitch, people were always up for a great game. You’d walk out and hear the roar of the fans… it’s amazing to play in front of a full house, in a competition that the whole world is watching.

In the 2008 final, Van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty in the sudden death shoot out to see United crowned Champions of Europe for the third time.

Every United fan I meet always thanks me for the amazing night in Moscow. Saving the penalty and for two or three seconds being the hero, on your own with the other players running towards you, that memory will never leave my mind. Even talking about it now, I’m reliving the emotions of that night.