Van der Sar finds spirits soaring
Fresh from helping Manchester United FC win the UEFA Champions League, Edwin van der Sar was in "good spirits" as he met up with his Netherlands team-mates.
Van der Sar and Real Madrid CF midfielder Wesley Sneijder were the last two players to join up with Marco van Basten's side as they prepare for UEFA EURO 2008™. The goalkeeper is still glowing from the penalty shoot-out save from Chelsea FC's Nicolas Anelka, calling it a "[Hans] van Breukelen" moment, in honour of the famous former PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands goalkeeper, who 20 years before won his club the European Champion Clubs' Cup in similar spot-kick stopping style against SL Benfica.
Van Breukelen was a UEFA European Championship winner later that summer, and the 37-year-old Van der Sar would love to also emulate that achievement. He feels that the mood in the Dutch camp is positive, saying: "I'm here in good spirits, and it's not just me – a lot of the boys have performed well in their leagues and won things, so now we just have to push very hard in the right direction together to create a successful team."
Coach Van Basten said last week that the Dutch public were right to have high expectations for the Oranje at UEFA EURO 2008™, and Van der Sar certainly feels that none of their Group C opponents – Italy, France and Romania – will be looking forward to playing them in Bern. "Several boys play in other leagues and have developed further," Van der Sar stated. "That gives us hope and also makes opponents start to think. They are not happy to be in the same group as The Netherlands."