June 23, 2008

Netherlands goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar plans to spend one last season with Manchester United, having already announced his retirement from international football in the wake of following Russia's stunning 3-1 Euro 2008 quarterfinal victory over the Dutch team on Saturday.

Widely regarded as the best Manchester United keeper since Danish legend Peter Schmeichel, van der Sar has won consecutibve Premier League titles at Old Trafford as well as a Champions League winner's medal.

He played a key role in United's outstanding defensive record last season, keerping 24 clean sheets.

However, he confirmed at the weekend: "I will have one last season in the Premier League but yes, my international career is over.

"I have enjoyed this tournament [Euro 2008] but unfortunately we could not reach the level we touched in the opening two matches. One bad game in tournaments and you go out," he said.

Van der Sar, who was captain of the Netherlands during Euro 2008, earned his 128th cap against Russia, and his international manager, Marco van Basten, praised the country's most-capped player, saying:

"Edwin deserved to be in the winning team at the Euros. I wanted that for him because he has been a great goalkeeper for his country but, unfortunately, it was not to be."

However, van der Sar will now turn his attention back to club football after taking a holiday. He is anticipating stern competition for his first-team place at Old Trafford from Tomasz Kuszczak and Ben Foster next season. Both will be looking to stake their claim as United's next undisputed No. 1.

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