Tomasz Kuszczak has led the tributes to Edwin van der Sar after his fellow goalkeeper played the last game of his career in Manchester United's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
Kuszczak insisted no other player could have ousted Van der Sar from the United side in the last five years and admitted he would look to leave if he did not now succeed the Dutchman as number one. The 29-year-old Pole's departure seems almost inevitable, with Atletico Madrid's David de Gea looking set to move to Old Trafford this summer.
Whatever happens, Kuszczak claimed it had been a privilege to train alongside 40-year-old Van der Sar, who failed to sign off with a third Champions League title last night as Barca romped to a 3-1 victory at Wembley. He said: "Edwin is a terrific goalkeeper and I learnt a lot. He put me on the bench for a long, long time and I don't think there is any goalkeeper in the world who can put him on the bench."
He added: "That's why it is not a surprise I sit on the bench.
"I came to this club five years ago with big hope that I was going to get the chance and a chance to play regularly, but Edwin never gave up and he always played well.
"He was, you can say, one of the best players in the team and obviously it was difficult to push him out.
"Now's he's finished and we are good friends. We spent a lot of nice moments together and I wish him all the best.
"We're going to keep in touch and I can still learn a lot from him."
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