Van der Sar: "Real have a very good keeper in Navas"
The former Netherlands and Manchester United keeper spoke to AS
Former Netherlands and Manchester United keeper Edwin Van der Sar, now Ajax’s marketing manager, was in Madrid at a promotional event for the Corazón Classic Match and spoke to AS.
How do you see the tie between City and Real? Will you be supporting Madrid and Cristiano?
I only have one club in Manchester [laughs]. Of course, I hope Cristiano is fit to play. I was at the [Real] training session and I got to speak to Zidane and a couple of the players.
How would you rate Cristiano’s performance this season?
He always scores a huge number of goals, it’s incredible. He was really good at United and here he’s moved up a couple of levels. His scoring records are unbeatable and what he has achieved at Madrid is amazing.
Do you see De Gea in a Madrid shirt?
No, De Gea plays for Manchester United.
But Real are keen to buy him…
I think Real Madrid already have a very good keeper in Keylor Navas, he is also a very strong keeper and he’s been important to the club. That’s the situation at the moment.
What’s your opinion of Keylor Navas?
He had a difficult task replacing Iker Casillas, who had been there for many years, played in a lot of big games and won a lot of trophies for the club. I think Keylor has been doing very well. I talked to him at the training session and he comes across as a kid with his feet on the ground. It’s great that he has the opportunity to play for this great club.
What do you think of his breaking your record in the Champions League?
He overtook me, I think I’m third now. It’s an incredible achievement. Teams need good keepers, but also good defenders and midfielder, so it’s good for him that Madrid have those players.
How do you see Ajax on the European stage at the moment?
The big clubs are getting away from us a bit but we are going to work hard within the philosophy of the club, which is to bring young players into the academy. Hopefully we’ll win the league this year to get into the Champions League again and take our next step in Europe.
Have you heard anything about Mink Peeters, the young Dutch player Madrid signed from Ajax?
Yes, I know him through my son, who is a keeper, they played in the same team together. Mink Peeters is a midfielder who has an eye for goal, he likes to play as a number 10, or at least that’s where he played for Ajax, at Madrid I don’t know. I think he’s enjoying the experience. We like to keep hold of our young talents of course and we hope that they will break into the first team. At Ajax the average age of the team is 22 or 23, so 18 and 19-year-olds get a chance to play for the first team. I always hope that our talented players stay at Ajax and make their first steps on the international stage with us.
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