Manchester United icon Edwin van der Sar hints at return after Ajax exit

Manchester United legend Edwin van der Sar
-Credit: (Image: Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Manchester United legend Edwin van der Sar has hinted that he could be returning to football after taking a year out of the sport.

The former goalkeeper moved into the boardroom at Ajax after his playing career came to an end. After starting as the Amsterdam club's head of marketing in 2012, Van der Sar transitioned to sporting CEO in 2015 before becoming CEO in 2016.

The Dutchman announced he would resign from this role in the summer of 2023 after Ajax suffered a difficult campaign following Erik ten Hag's move to Old Trafford. Shortly afterwards, the 53-year-old was rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage but has since managed a full recovery.

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After taking a year out of football, Van der Sar released a statement on Instagram which hinted that he could be about to make a return in some capacity. He wrote: "Today, it’s exactly one year since I announced to step down as CEO of Ajax.

"I’m grateful for the warm farewell from all my colleagues. Serving this club, first as a player and later as CEO, has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.

"This period is filled with special moments, though there were also challenging times, which are part of every journey. I look back on the unforgettable memories and the incredible people within it. All beautifully captured in one photo.

"In the last period, I had the time to recover and reflect with my family and friends. It’s time for new adventures and experiences in the near future. Thank you all."

Should he wish to return to football as a CEO, Van der Sar is unlikely to be appointed by United. Co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has recently appointed Omar Berrada to fill this role.

What is known is that Van der Sar will always be welcomed back fondly by United supporters thanks to his efforts over six years at Old Trafford.