It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to open the “My Favorite Player” vault.
Who will follow Thierry Henry (Khiry Shelton), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sean Okoli) Carles Puyol (Ethan White), Ronaldo (Ronald Matarrita) and Ronaldinho (Jack Harrison) into our pantheon of legends?
New goalkeeper Sean Johnson is up… and he’s the first to select a player who hasn’t played for FC Barcelona!
Johnson selects a ‘keeper who represented Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United – a multi UEFA Champions League winner… Edwin van der Sar.
Johnson on Van der Sar
“For me growing up, Edwin van der Sar was the one player I watched who constantly had me in awe. For me, he’s one of the best to ever play the position.
“Just watching how clean he was and how that inspired confidence throughout the team was incredible. He was my idol as a kid growing up.”
Edwin van der Sar: Trophy Magnet
One of the most decorated goalkeepers of all-time, Van der Sar was a European Cup champion with Ajax just a few years into his career – a feat which set the tone for what was to follow.
After making in his name in his native Netherlands, Edwin became the first non-Italian to play between the sticks at Juventus, remaining first-choice for two seasons until Gigi Buffon came in for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
That prompted a move to Fulham in England where he cemented his reputation as one of the game’s very best in his position, attracting the interest of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2005.
At Old Trafford, Van der Sar won the UEFA Champions League once again and the Dutchman was the hero, saving Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to edge out Chelsea in a shootout in Moscow.
He won the league title four times in five years in Manchester before hanging up his gloves.
At international level, Edwin represented the Netherlands on 130 occasions – more than any other Dutch player.
Edwin returned to his boyhood club Ajax in 2012 to become General Director – he is now Chief Marketing Officer.
Manchester United: 2005-2011
Eredivisie (4): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998
KNVB Cup (3): 1993, 1998, 1999
UEFA Champions League: 1995
UEFA Cup: 1992
UEFA Super Cup: 1995
Intercontinental Cup: 1995
Premier League (4): 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
League Cup (2): 2006, 2009
UEFA Champions League: 2008
FIFA Club World Cup: 2008