Ferguson expects Van der Sar to retire at end of season

Last Updated: Dec 26, 2010, 16:20 PM IST

London: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said he expects goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to retire at the end of this season.

Van der Sar, who in 2009 set an Premier League record of minutes without conceding a goal when he went more than 21 hours unbeaten, has been key for United since his arrival in 2005 from Fulham.

“We are planning for this being his last season. I expected it. It is amazing to be playing at this level at 40 years of age. You can only do it if you``ve got that structure and the mind,” a newspaper quoted Ferguson, as saying.

“To be able to programme himself and train the way he does is phenomenal. He’s an outstanding man,” he added.

The 68-year-old further believes that lessons learned from former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel’s departure would prevent another goalkeeping crisis at Old Trafford.

“I think we have learned the lesson [from failing to replace Schmeichel],” Ferguson said.

“I should have signed Van der Sar after Schmeichel. I made a mistake, but now we think we know where we``re going. Both of them have been magnificent. I’ve been very lucky to have had them both,” he added.

ANI