Legendary Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar Hospitalized After Stroke
Edwin van der Sar, the legendary goalkeeper of Netherlands, Ajax, and Manchester United, went on vacation with his family in Croatia. However, he suffered a stroke (brain hemorrhage) and was admitted to the hospital. Reuters news agency reported that 52-year-old van der Sar's physical condition is currently stable.
According to Ajax's statement, "Edwin van der Sar had a brain hemorrhage. He is currently in intensive care at the hospital (ICU) and his physical condition is stable." In 2009, van der Sar's wife, Annemarie van Kesteren, also suffered a stroke but later recovered. Two years later, in 2011, van der Sar retired from Manchester United. During his six-year career at the club, he won the Premier League and Champions League four times.
However, van der Sar's rise to prominence happened during his time at Ajax. From 1990 to 1999, in a nine-year career, he won the Dutch league title four times, as well as the Champions League four times, becoming the Netherlands' goalkeeper of the year for several consecutive years. While playing for Ajax and Manchester United, he played 130 matches for the Netherlands, which is the second-highest record.
After his wife Annemarie suffered a stroke, van der Sar helped people suffering from fatal neurological conditions through his foundation. Now he himself has become a victim of this disease. In the following year after leaving United, in 2012, he joined Ajax's board and took over as the club's CEO in 2016.
In May of last month, burdened with the club's failures, he stepped down from this position. After failing to qualify for the Champions League for the third time in the Dutch league and failing to win the Champions League as in 2009, van der Sar relinquished his responsibilities.
In a statement wishing van der Sar's recovery, United's side said, "Edwin, all our love and strength are with you." United's former teammate Rio Ferdinand also tweeted, "Ed is a warrior. We are with the van der Sar family."