Edwin Van der Sar has admitted he does ask himself why he is retiring, given how fit he still is, but he is sticking by the decision he made last year.

“I do ask myself sometimes why I’m retiring,” Van der Sar said. “A lot of people have spoken to me about precisely this question. Physically, I don’t need to stop. I’m still as fit as a fiddle, although nobody can carry on playing for ever. Now that I’ve passed 40, I feel quite simply that this is the best time to stop. This is a decision I have not made on my own – I also consulted my wife Annemarie, my solicitor Rob Jansen and my manager Alex Ferguson. After I’d spoken to Ferguson last year we both came to the conclusion that it would be best if this were to be my final season.”