Van der Sar turns down Dutch request to return

By Theo Ruizenaar,Reuters
Wednesday 18 March 2009 13:42

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has declined an offer from Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk to make a comeback for the national team.

"Although I knew what his answer would be, I called Edwin to ask him," Van Marwijk was quoted as saying in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

"I think that was normal seeing the circumstances (surrounding) our goalkeepers. But Edwin told me last year that for him the Dutch team was a closed book. I knew his answer, but just gave it a try."

Van der Sar, 38, who won a record 130 caps, announced his international retirement after the Euro 2008 finals last year but made a brief comeback for the World Cup qualifiers against Iceland and Norway in October.

He set an English league record this season by going 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal, keeping a clean sheet in 14 successive league matches he played in.

The Dutch goalkeeping crisis arose after first choice Maarten Stekelenburg became second choice at Ajax Amsterdam, while Henk Timmer and Michel Vorm are struggling with injuries.

Van Marwijk will announce his squad on Friday for the Group Nine qualifiers against Scotland on 28 March and Macedonia on 1 April, both in Amsterdam.

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