The Dutch club’s chief understands their place in the football hierarchy but wants to keep their unique place on the global stage
Edwin van der Sar can still picture the bemusement on the faces of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, his Manchester United teammates at the time and resolute one-club men. The Dutch goalkeeper, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2005 via Ajax, Juventus and Fulham, had wanted to know whether either fancied playing abroad. They could learn a new language, Van der Sar suggested, experience different cultures and climates, maybe even earn more money.
The short answer was no. Why would they do that? They were at a big club – their club in their city – with family and friends close by, winning big trophies and being paid big money. They had it all. “OK, the weather in Manchester,” Van der Sar says, with a smile. “But Paul said: ‘I don’t like the sun.’ I think David [Beckham] is one of the few [English players] that left United but he came from London.”
Written by David Hytner
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/sep/22/edwin-van-der-sar-interview-ajax-manchester-united-van-de-beek under the title “
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