Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar bid an emotional farewell to professional football last night in a star-studded finale at Ajax.

The 40-year-old stopper, who made his senior debut for the Dutch giants in 1990 and won four Eredivisie titles and one Champions League trophy with the Godenzonen, returned to his old stomping ground to celebrate a glittering career in-front of 53,000 fans.

Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Dirk Kuyt, Edgar Davids, Rio Ferdinand and Dennis Bergkamp all played for the former Juventus keeper's 'dream team' against the current Ajax crop, whilst an early match in the star-studded evening saw Ajax '95 take on Holland '98.

Van der Sar was overwhelmed by the response from the fans at the Amsterdam Arena, and he paid tribute to those who made the event so special.

"This is incredible. I want to thank everyone in the stadium. Thanks for your support through the years," said the former Fulham keeper.

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton continued the tributes for Van der Sar, who leaves the game as one of the most decorated players in European football.

Despite never winning a major trophy at international level, the Dutchman made 130 appearances for Holland, claimed eight domestic league titles, two Champions League winners medals and one UEFA Cup trophy.




 

"He is not a normal keeper. The players in front of him always can have the thought: we still have Edwin. He has got so much talent and a strong character. Maybe he is the best goalkeeper United ever had, but we also had Schmeichel. But Van der Sar is unique," said the England World Cup winner.

The tributes continued to pour in, with Arsenal legend Bergkamp, former Holland boss Guus Hiddink and United centre back Ferdinand all quick to pay their tributes to one of the game's modern greats.

“He is a winner. Even in training, he always played 100 per cent. When you deliver in England like he did, you will be received in the arms of the fans," said Bergkamp.

"The unique thing about Edwin is that he thinks always simple, it's based on quality and serenity. In the dressing room he corrected something always very smoothly. He was much appreciated by all his colleagues," added Hiddink.

"Great crowd + great appreciation for a great servant of the game. It was a pleasure to play alongside him. Respect #edwinvandersar," Ferdinand concluded in a final tweet to the player.

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#Football
#Edwin Van der Sar
#Premier League
#Manchester United