Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hails ‘outstanding’ Edwin van der Sar

by Sid Choudhary

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has sent his well wishes to Edwin van der Sar on the goalkeeper’s 45th birthday.

Van der Sar was at Man United for six years and was an instrumental part of the team during one of the most successful eras in the club’s history.

The Dutchman helped United to four Premier League titles and a Champions League crown in his short time at the club, an indication of just how important he was to United.

Ferdinand, Van der Sar and Nemanja Vidic formed a brilliant understanding between them. The trio were, at their peak, one of the best defences in the world and Ferdinand paid tribute to the shot-stopper.

“Edwin. My man. What’s needed to be a great keeper, shot stopping, presence, authority, organiser, good feet, mental strength, agility, there are more, but one thing Edwin had more than any keeper I ever played with was – calmness & composure,” Ferdinand wrote on his Facebook page.

“Great players to my mind make others play better and Edwin certainly done that.

“He was right footed but would put the ball on his left foot and pick people out as if he was bored and wanted to test himself (I used to laugh).

“Also when Manchester United needed him he was always there…big moments, one important save to make in the game etc he was there with no fuss! The triangle of Edwin, myself & Vida [Nemanja Vidic] will never be forgotten. Happy birthday bro. P.s. Thank God he never listened to me and dived the other way in the Champions League final vs Chelsea!”

United could do with the experience of both Ferdinand and Van der Sar at the moment, as they struggle to inspire amid some poor results. The Reds were knocked out of the Capital One Cup on penalties against Middlesbrough on Wednesday and have not found the back of the net in their last two games.

Van der Sar was the goalkeeper that Sir Alex Ferguson desperately needed and he proved his worth during his time at Old Trafford. He was a fans’ favourite and United supporters would love to see the 45-year-old back at the club at some point in the future.

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