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Van der Sar desperate for final win
Published : 26 May 2011 16:00:26
Edwin van der Sar is determined not to end his career with a never-ending sense of 'what if'.
After an emotional farewell at Old Trafford on Sunday, which itself came after what Sir Alex Ferguson described as "a wobble", the 40-year-old will play his final game this weekend when Manchester United tackle Barcelona in the Champions League final.
"You do think more about things you lose than what you win," said the veteran Dutchman. "When you have won, your medal goes into the cupboard or the safe in the bank. But when you lose, you know something has slipped through your fingers. It makes you more determined."
It will be the fifth time Van der Sar has been involved in such an occasion - a record for a goalkeeper - with his personal statistics standing at two won and two lost, but the man who lifted the UEFA Cup as a 21-year-old with Ajax is experienced enough to know it is the failures that gnaw at the soul.
Not that Van der Sar is entirely comfortable discussing what is going to happen after this weekend.
Always one of the more straightforward characters in the United dressing room, the former Juventus star gives the impression of spending the least amount of time possible considering it.
"It is a big day for everyone involved in Manchester United, not just me," he said. "It is always nice when you get respect and there have been some jokes from the kit man and the masseur saying this is the last time they are going to do anything for me.
"It was fantastic to be able to say goodbye to the fans at Old Trafford on Sunday too.
"That wouldn't happen if you got transferred out of nowhere, so it was a good experience. But really I am just looking forward to Saturday now.
"This game is what we have been working so hard to prepare for. And really, it doesn't matter whether it is your first game or your last, you want to win matches like this one."