|© UNICEF UK/2006/Peters|
|Edwin van der Sar is the starting goalkeeper for Manchester United.|
The starting goalie for Manchester United, Edwin van der Sar is only the sixth Dutch footballer ever to play for Man U in the English Premier League. A long international career built on the art of safe keeping will undoubtedly be a valuable resource for him as he joins UNICEF and FIFA to promote every child’s right to a safe environment, free from violence and intolerance.
Born in Voorhout, Netherlands in 1970, Mr. van der Sar began his career at FC Foreholte (Voorhout's local football team), then moved to VV Noordwijk. He won his first European Cup trophy when Amsterdam beat Torino, clinching the 1991-92 UEFA Cup. Shortly after that, he was recruited to play for the famed Dutch Ajax squad for his exceptional agility as a big man, and his superb capability in the air.
At Ajax, Mr. Van der Sar developed into one of the world’s most talented keepers. His unwavering consistency in skillfully protecting the goal propelled Ajax to win the UEFA Champions League in 1995.
A defining presence
After a stellar season, the Italian heavyweight Juventus came calling, and Mr. van der Sar left the Netherlands to play in Italy in 1999. Two solid seasons with Juventus in the Italian big league, Serie A, captured the attention of the English Premier League teams. In 2001 he moved to England to play for Fulham, where he enjoyed four strong seasons. Just last year, he joined international football giant Manchester United.
Mr. Van der Sar has also been a defining presence for the Dutch national team, appearing in over 100 matches. With Holland's qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he is on pace to break Frank de Boer's Dutch record of 112 caps.
Over the years, playing for some of football’s finest teams, Mr. van der Sar has established himself as a world-class shot stopper with tremendous instincts, and a formidable opponent in one-on-one situations.