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United`s Dutch Goalie Nearing World Shutout Mark

Posted February. 02, 2009 09:54,   


Edwin van der Sar is almost 40 and retired from the national Dutch soccer team last year after 130 international games.

He considered retiring from professional soccer this season, but decided to play just one more year, and what a record-breaking year it promises to be.

The Manchester United goalie has set a shutout record in England, and is just two shutouts away from breaking the world mark.

Making his professional debut at Ajax at age 21 in 1992, Van der Sar became the first non-Italian goalkeeper at Juventus of Italy. He joined United in 2005 from Fulham.

In a 1-0 win over Everton Saturday, he raised his record for consecutive shutout minutes to 1,122. The last goal he gave up was in a Nov. 8 game versus Arsenal last year.

The previous record in England for consecutive shutout minutes was 1,103 set in the 1978-79 season by Steve Death of Reading.

Van der Sar is set to break the world record if he posts shutouts in two more games.

The world record is 1,275 minutes set in the 1990-1991 season by Abel Resino of Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Primera Liga.

Though close to the world record, Van der Sar humbly said, “What is more important than my record is our team’s win. All I did was to help my defenders focus throughout our matches.”

Thanks to his stellar performance, United has posted 12 straight shutouts starting with a 5-0 win over Stoke City Nov. 16. The team has consolidated its league lead with 16 wins, five draws, and two losses while scoring 53 goals.

In addition, United is again eyeing the treble – the Premiership, Champions League and the FA Cup – that it won in 1999. The team is seeking its third straight league title and is in the round of 16 in the FA Cup and Champions League.