Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar hopes to bow out of football in a similar manner to the way United great Peter Schmeichel bowed out of Manchester United.
Schmeichel ended the 1998-1999 season with a Premier League winners medal, an FA Cup winners medal and then captained his side to that dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp and lifted the Champions League final.
Van der Sar has been a rock for United in the last five seasons and has decided to retire at the end of this one. United fans desperate to keep hold of their number one chanted “one more year” at the goalkeeper who’s mind seems well and truly made up.
Talking about his impending retirement, Van der Sar doesn’t appear filled with dread, and is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
“I don’t hate the thought of retirement,” said Van der Sar. “I am looking forward to it. I am at my peak and it will be nice to finish at my peak.
“Maybe it is a weight off my shoulders. It is nice to get recognition from the fans and I will miss football and the buzz. It has been 20 years.
“But I have other good things, including a lovely wife and great kids.”
Van der Sar was also pleased with the way his United team bounced back from consecutive defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter final.
“We lost two games last week so it was important for us to get back to winning ways,” he said.
“Everybody doubts themselves. Every writer doubts themselves, every artist doubts himself and every football player does.
“But that is what certain players thrive on. It is important for the experienced players to stand up and be counted and to show the young players what has to be done.”
Van der Sar already has one eye on a winners medal, with just two wins standing in his way.
“An FA Cup winners’ medal would mean a lot despite what I have already won in my career,” he said. “It is there and on my list but I wouldn’t look back in regret if don’t win it.”