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Sar celebrates record caps with special boots
Nuremberg | June 26, 2006 5:15:06 AM IST
 
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Dutch captain Edwin van der Sar celebrated his record 113th appearance for the national side Sunday by wearing a special pair of red football boots against Portugal here.

The boots, a gift from German sportswear company Adidas, had "Van der Sar 113" written on their saddle.

With his appearance Sunday, the 35-year-old has now beaten Frank de Boer's previous all-time record of 112 international caps.

Van der Sar, who played for AFC Ajax, Juventus and Fulham before joining Manchester United in 2005, has been Holland's undisputed first choice keeper for the past 11 years. He made his international debut on June 7, 1995, in a 1-0 defeat against Belarus.

Along with Phillip Cocu and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, he is one of only three Netherlands players to have taken part in a previous World Cup, that of 1998 in France.

Asked recently whether beating De Boer's record meant anything to him, Van der Sar told DPA: "I only thought about it in as far as it meant we would made it past the first round of the tournament."

His dream, like most here in Germany, is to win the World Cup.

"This is my last World Cup, and it's the biggest thing I could ever win," he said.

Nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant" because of his height (he is 1.97 metres tall), his good nature and his green goalkeeper's kit at Manchester United, Van der Sar has been providing much-needed wisdom and experience to a young Dutch side in Germany.

"He is one of the best goalies in the world and he also transmits calmness to the defence," Cocu, recently said of him.

Van der Sar sponsors a special charity for orphaned children, and donors were being invited to donate to his fund to celebrate the occasion.

--DPA (IANS)

 

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