Sonja Coffey

Written by Sonja Coffey

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


When it comes to legendary goalkeepers, few can match the skill, experience, and accomplishments of Edwin van der Sar. Born on October 29, 1970, in Voorhout, Netherlands, Van der Sar had a storied career that spanned over two decades. From his early days at Ajax to his successes with clubs like Juventus and Manchester United, Van der Sar has etched his name in football history.

In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Edwin van der Sar and uncover 16 astonishing facts about him. From his record-breaking years with Ajax to his commanding presence between the posts for the Dutch national team, Van der Sar has left an indelible mark on the sport. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be amazed by these fascinating insights into the life of one of football’s greatest goalkeepers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Edwin van der Sar’s exceptional goalkeeping skills and leadership led to triumphs in the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League, solidifying his status as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.
  • Beyond his on-field success, van der Sar’s philanthropic work and dedication to nurturing young talent through his goalkeeping academy showcase his enduring legacy and impact on the footballing world.
Table of Contents

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Edwin van der Sar, the legendary Dutch goalkeeper, was born on October 29, 1970, in Voorhout, Netherlands. At a young age, he showed great promise in football and joined the youth academy of his local team, Foreholte.

Debut at AFC Ajax

Van der Sar made his professional debut for AFC Ajax, one of the most successful clubs in Dutch football history, in His remarkable performances quickly earned him recognition as one of the most promising goalkeepers in the country.

UEFA Champions League Victory

In 1995, van der Sar played a crucial role in AFC Ajax’s incredible success in the UEFA Champions League. The team, led by manager Louis van Gaal, defeated AC Milan in the final, with van der Sar’s exceptional goalkeeping skills ensuring victory.

Record-Breaking Transfer to Juventus

In 1999, van der Sar became the most expensive goalkeeper in history at the time when he transferred from AFC Ajax to Italian giants Juventus. The deal was worth a staggering €23 million, highlighting the trust and value placed in his abilities.

Premier League Triumphs with Manchester United

Van der Sar’s move to Manchester United in 2005 proved to be a turning point in his career. During his time at the club, he helped them secure four Premier League titles, firmly establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Clean Sheet Record

Van der Sar holds the record for the longest consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in the Premier League. He went an incredible 1,311 minutes without having the ball find the back of the net, showcasing his exceptional goalkeeping prowess.

Return to AFC Ajax

In 2011, van der Sar returned to his roots and rejoined AFC Ajax, this time as the club’s marketing director. His valuable experience and knowledge played a key role in the development and success of the team both on and off the pitch.

Retirement and Honors

After a decorated career spanning over two decades, van der Sar announced his retirement from professional football in He was honored with numerous awards, including being named Dutch Football Goalkeeper of the Year four times.

International Success

Representing the Netherlands national team, van der Sar played a vital role in their journey to the UEFA Euro 2000 semi-finals and the FIFA World Cup 2010 final, solidifying his status as an influential goalkeeper on the international stage.

Goalkeeper Mentorship

Following his retirement, van der Sar continued to contribute to the world of football. He became a mentor and advisor to young goalkeepers, sharing his knowledge and expertise to help develop the next generation of talent.

Chief Executive Officer of AFC Ajax

In 2016, van der Sar took on the role of Chief Executive Officer at AFC Ajax. Under his leadership, the club experienced tremendous success, winning the Eredivisie title multiple times and becoming a force to be reckoned with in European competitions.

Champions League Return

During his tenure as CEO, van der Sar played an instrumental role in guiding AFC Ajax back to the UEFA Champions League. The team’s impressive performances captivated fans around the world and showcased the club’s rich footballing tradition.

Philanthropic Work

Beyond his footballing accomplishments, van der Sar has been actively involved in philanthropy. He established the Edwin van der Sar Foundation, which provides support and rehabilitation for individuals who have suffered brain injuries.

Goalkeeping Academy

Van der Sar’s dedication to nurturing young talent led to the establishment of the Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeping Academy. The academy aims to develop aspiring goalkeepers by providing top-class coaching and mentoring.

Football Ambassador

As a respected figure in the world of football, van der Sar serves as a football ambassador for various organizations and initiatives. He uses his platform to advocate for charitable causes and inspire the next generation of footballers.


Edwin van der Sar’s remarkable career, both on and off the pitch, has left an indelible mark on the world of football. His exceptional goalkeeping skills, leadership abilities, and commitment to making a difference have solidified his legacy as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.


The 16 astonishing facts about Edwin van der Sar highlight his incredible journey from a talented youth player to a legendary goalkeeper and influential figure in the footballing world. His achievements, both individually and as part of successful teams, exemplify his dedication, skill, and leadership. Van der Sar’s impact on the game and his contributions to philanthropy and player development serve as a testament to his enduring legacy.

As fans, we can look back at the illustrious career of Edwin van der Sar with admiration and gratitude for the unforgettable moments he provided on the field and the everlasting impact he has made off the field.


Edwin van der Sar is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable figures in the world of soccer. From his exceptional skills as a goalkeeper to his long and successful career, there are numerous facts that make him truly astonishing.

As a two-time UEFA Champions League winner and a record holder for the most consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in the Premier League, van der Sar’s achievements speak volumes about his talent and dedication. His remarkable performances for both club and country have earned him the respect and admiration of fans and fellow players alike.

Off the field, Edwin van der Sar is also involved in various charitable endeavors, displaying his caring and compassionate nature. His contributions to the sport and society as a whole make him not just an exceptional athlete but also a role model for aspiring players.

In conclusion, Edwin van der Sar’s blend of skill, dedication, and philanthropy sets him apart as one of the most astonishing figures in the world of soccer, leaving an indelible mark on the game and inspiring generations to come.


1. How many goals did Edwin van der Sar score throughout his career?

As a goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar’s primary role was to prevent goals rather than score them. Therefore, he did not score any goals in his professional career.

2. What is Edwin van der Sar’s record for the most consecutive minutes without conceding a goal?

Edwin van der Sar holds the record for the most consecutive Premier League minutes without conceding a goal. He achieved this feat during the 2008-2009 season, going unbeaten for a remarkable 1,311 minutes.

3. Which teams did Edwin van der Sar play for during his career?

During his career, Edwin van der Sar played for several notable clubs, including Ajax, Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United.

4. How many UEFA Champions League titles did Edwin van der Sar win?

Edwin van der Sar won the prestigious UEFA Champions League title twice. The first win came in 1995 while playing for Ajax, and the second victory came in 2008 when he was with Manchester United.

5. Is Edwin van der Sar still involved in soccer after retiring?

Yes, after retiring as a player, Edwin van der Sar took on a role as the CEO of AFC Ajax, a position he has held since 2016. He continues to contribute to the sport through his managerial role.

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