Edwin van der Sar in intensive care after suffering bleeding around the brain

Edwin van der Sar in intensive care after suffering bleeding around the brain

Former Manchester United and Netherlands goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is in intensive care after suffering bleeding around his brain, Dutch club Ajax have announced.

Van der Sar, 52, won the Premier League four times during his time at United, as well as the Champions League in 2008, which he also lifted while at Ajax.

After retirement, Van der Sar, who also enjoyed a spell at Fulham before signing for United, returned to Ajax where he took up the role of chief executive in 2016, from which he decided to stand down at the end of last season.

“On Friday, Edwin van der Sar has had a bleeding around his brain. He’s currently in hospital in the intensive care unit and is in a stable condition,” Ajax said in a statement on Twitter.

“Once there is more concrete information, an update will follow. Everyone at Ajax wishes Edwin a speedy recovery. We’re thinking of you.”

Although no further details were given by Ajax, it has been reported Van der Sar was admitted to hospital while away in Croatia after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage.

Following a disappointing season for Ajax, the club finishing third in the Eredivisie and missing out on Champions League qualification, Van der Sar announced he would be stepping down from his role after almost 11 years on the club’s board.

“I feel the need to take some distance, to get some rest, and to do other things,” he said on Twitter at the end of May.

“It doesn’t feel good to take decisions about the future of this wonderful club in the coming period. That is why I have decided to resign.”

United offered Van der Sar the club’s best wishes.

“Sending all our love and strength to you, Edwin,” a post on the club’s Twitter feed read.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand sent his support to his old team-mate, tweeting: “Ed is a fighter.

“Our thoughts are with the Van Der Sar family!

Fulham also sent a message of support, tweeting: “Everyone at Fulham Football Club wishes Edwin a speedy recovery. We’re thinking of you.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at the PFA are with Edwin and his family.”

European football’s governing body UEFA said: “Following his admission to hospital today, the thoughts and best wishes of UEFA and the entire European football community are with Edwin van der Sar and his family.

“We’re all with you, Edwin.”

Edwin Van Der Sar celebrates with the Champions League trophy
Edwin van der Sar won the Champions League for a second time while at United (Owen Humphreys/PA)

After more than 200 appearances for Ajax and European success as part of Louis van Gaal’s side, the Dutch keeper moved to Juventus before signing with Fulham in 2001.

A switch to Old Trafford followed four years later, which also saw Van der Sar win the League Cup twice and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.

United, though, suffered defeat to Barcelona in both the 2009 Champions League final and again at Wembley in 2011, after which Van der Sar retired.

Van der Sar played 130 times for the Netherlands and for a spell was the nation’s most-capped player.