Edwin van der Sar, a renowned football figure esteemed for his achievements with both Manchester United and Ajax, finds himself in a gruelling battle off the pitch. The former goalkeeper, aged 52, is currently in the intensive care unit after suffering a serious cerebral haemorrhage.
His holiday retreat to Croatia took a dire turn, leading to an immediate hospital admission. The Dutch titan, celebrated for his 130 appearances with the Netherlands, is currently reported to be in a stable condition.
Ajax and Manchester United Rally in Support
In Amsterdam, the echoes of “get well soon, Edwin” reverberate around the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The Eredivisie team expressed their heartfelt support and quick recovery wishes to their beloved icon, demonstrating a tight-knit footballing community in action.
Van der Sar stepped down from his executive role at Ajax in May after a disappointing third-place league finish and the bitter taste of missing out on Champions League football since 2009. His affiliation with the club runs deep, transitioning from a respected player to a commanding figure on the board, and eventually ascending to the role of chief executive in 2016.
A Resilient Career Painted in Red and White
Over in Manchester, the Red Devils also stand in solidarity, sending an outpouring of love and strength to the former goalkeeping maestro. Van der Sar’s contributions to United are imprinted in their history, making 266 appearances and playing an instrumental role in securing three Premier League titles and the coveted 2008 Champions League.
His professional journey has seen him grace the Premier League with Fulham and Serie A with Juventus, further amplifying the widespread concern for his condition.
Messages of encouragement and support are flooding in from across the globe. From former United defender Rio Ferdinand’s assurance that “Ed is a fighter”, to Fulham Football Club’s rallying cry and the Professional Footballers’ Association’s thoughtful sentiments, the football community is united in its support for Van der Sar’s recovery.
Unwavering Determination Amidst Uncertainty
The resilience of Van der Sar, from his first-rate reputation as an outstanding goalkeeper and administrator to his unwavering dedication to the sport, is well-acknowledged. His future plans, as hinted during a conversation in Istanbul on the eve of the previous month’s Champions League final, promise a swift return to football.
His personal journey has seen him endure hardship and uncertainty before, notably with his wife Annemarie’s recovery from a brain haemorrhage in 2009 and Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2018 collapse. The global football community, too, remains hopeful, extending public and private wishes of well-being and recovery.
As the world absorbs this shocking news, football stands united in wishing the best for Edwin van der Sar.