The Premier League GOAT #20

Edwin Van Der Sar

In my opinion, he’s the most reliable keeper of all time. United have had great keepers including Schmeichel and De Gea, who have unbelievable highlight reels of saves but for me Van Der Sar is my favourite. He did everything at a high level, very very rarely made a mistake and was a leader at the back. He was the definition of a great Goalkeeper. He’s won everything there is to win, two times over. After spending years at Fulham he made a surprise £2m move to United and went onto break records and become arguably the best keeper in the world, for me he’s well deserving of this spot in the top 20.


As usual these disclaimers will be disclosed weekly, so please take note of them before reading.

  1. The list mostly includes players from the 2000s & 2010s, with the exception of one or two. I did not think I could fairly compare players from the 90s that I’ve only watched on Youtube or read about.
  2. I wanted to include at least one player from every position, so there’s a good variety of players and not just forwards or midfielders.
  3. There is a difference between ‘best’ & ‘greatest’. Example: Wayne Rooney is in my opinion, the best player to ever play for Everton but he’s not their greatest ever player.

Please keep these disclaimers in mind! If you missed the previous 5 entrants please find them below. 

“One of the very first to have brought a new perspective (on goalkeeping) was Edwin Van der Sar, who played a lot with his feet and allowed the position to enter a new phase. I was inspired by his style of play.”
Manuel Neuer
Managerial Icon

Neuer, who most people credit for changing the way keepers play, says that it was VDS who inspired him to play this way, another testament to his greatness. There was a period in the 08/09 season where the United defence was on the run of a lifetime, no team could threaten them, VDS was at the heart of this. He went 14 Premier League games without conceding a goal, beating out the record Cech set in 04/05. An insane stat, 14 games is over one-third of the season. I don’t think any Premier League keeper will beat that ever! He went onto keep 21 clean sheets and only concede 20 goals that season.

Notable Achievements

As this is a Premier League countdown I’ll be omitting his Ajax stats but just know that this guy had a Hall of Fame career in two different countries.

  • 4 time Premier League winner (Including a three-peat).
  • 2x Champions League winner (Saved the peno to win the final in 08).
  • Golden Glove winner 2009.
  • Uefa Goalkeeper of the year 2009.
  • Longest consecutive run of clean sheets in Premier League history (14).
  • Three time PFA TOTY Nominee.

A remarkable run of achievements between 2006 – 2011. I think it is one of the highest peaks you’ll ever see as a Goalkeeper, he was the heart of the team that won 4 titles out of 6, and reached 3 CL finals in 4 years.

His last appearance at Old Trafford
The greatest defence ever assembled
“He is not a normal keeper. The players in front of him always can have the thought: we still have Edwin. He has got so much talent and a strong character. Maybe he is the best goalkeeper United ever had, but we also had Schmeichel. But Van der Sar is unique.”
Sir Bobby Charlton
Football Icon

Before we get into his best moments don’t forget to check out our latest post on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Best moments

Obviously there’s no goals here but there is going to plenty of ridciulous saves and penalty shootout heroics, Chelsea fans just scroll right through now.

3 of 3 in a shootout

Chelsea couldn’t even score one peno past him, was this a sign of things to come later on in the season…

Red in Russia

Collection of his best saves at United

If you have the time, check this out, watch how easy he makes saves look, in comparison to keepers of today who are giving strikers increased chances of scoring with their dodgy starting positions. 

"What’s needed to be a great keeper: shot stopping, presence, authority, organiser, good feet, mental strength, agility. There are more, but one thing Edwin had more than any keeper I ever played with was – calmness & composure. There was never any panic with him, he was never flustered. [He had] an aura of ‘l’ve been here before, just chill guys’ exuding off him. For a centre back to feel that from a keeper is a comforting thing to have."
Rio Ferdinand
Legendary CB


For me it’s undeniable that Edwin Van Der Sar is in the top 3 greatest Premier League keepers ever, in fact for me, he’s the best I’ve seen first hand, yes Cech had a higher peak but I don’t believe it lasted as long as Edwin’s. He’s the embodiment of the perfect Goalkeeper that any team in football today would crave, He came into the Premier League a winner and left a winner, had Fergie of gotten a hold of him earlier to replace Schemichael, as he wanted to back in 2000, he’d have at least 7 Premier League titles on his resume. I’m just glad he came in the end, and the rest as they say, is history. 

Hope you enjoyed this weeks edition, as we enter the top 20 the debate is going to get hotter, let us know what you think on social media and stay tuned for next week.

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