Stars give Van der Sar dream farewell

EDWIN VAN DER SAR enjoyed a memorable send-off as the recently-retired goalkeeper bid farewell at a testimonial evening at a packed Amsterdam ArenA last night.

The 40-year-old, who called time on his career at the end of last season after more than two decades representing Holland, Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United, took part in two friendly matches last night, both of which ended in victory for the veteran custodian.

He first kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for a 1995 Ajax side against a 1998 Holland team, Marc Overmars scoring the only goal with a superb strike, before then helping his Dream Team claim a 2-1 win over a current Ajax side soon after.

Edwin’s Dream Team, which was managed by Alex Ferguson and included some of his former teammates for club and country such as Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Dennis Bergkamp and Dirk Kuyt, took the lead through a Louis Saha effort.

Ajax equalised when Rodney Sneijder’s thunderbolt from the edge of the box struck the post before rebounding to Derk Boerrigter, who tapped the ball into the net.

The Dream Team would go on to take the victory though, when Bergkamp linked up well with Rooney before the former Arsenal man fired home a low shot.

Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has warned Manchester City they will never match his former club until they start to spend on their academy.

Roberto Mancini complained towards the end of last season at the lack of players with first-team potential in the City academy.

And Cantona, back in Manchester to take charge of the New York Cosmos side that will face United in Paul Scholes’ testimonial at Old Trafford tomorrow, believes it will become a massive handicap unless that famed youth policy is restored to its former glory.

“United are the best team,” said Cantona. “City have been successful because they won the FA Cup but if they only want to do that, they will not be as strong as Manchester United. United work on the long term, with young talent.”

Cantona also launched a broadside at Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, who have this summer both criticised the lifestyle in Manchester.

“I was a professional player. I didn’t try to find a city to enjoy it. The greatest time you can have is on the pitch.”

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