Former Manchester United, Ajax and Netherlands goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is in intensive care in a Croatian hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
The Dutchman, who recently resigned from his role as Ajax’s chief executive, is understood to have been on holiday in the city of Split.
A short statement from Ajax on social media confirmed: “On Friday, Edwin van der Sar has had a bleeding around his brain. He’s currently in hospital in the intensive care unit and is in a stable condition.
“Once there is more concrete information, an update will follow. Everyone at Ajax wishes Edwin a speedy recovery. We’re thinking of you.”
Dutch media reports that Van der Sar was transferred to hospital by helicopter, where doctors are now attempting to stabilise his condition in intensive care.
The 53-year-old is widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of the modern era, winning the Champions League with both Manchester United and Ajax – the former’s success coming when Van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty in a shootout win over Premier League rivals Chelsea in Moscow.
He also played 130 games for Netherlands in a 13-year international career, while his club career also included stints at Juventus and Fulham.
After his retirement from the game in 2011, Van der Sar moved into non-playing roles at Ajax and served as the club’s chief executive until recently. He was once in the frame to take over from Ed Woodward as Manchester United’s CEO, owing to the tremendous business model operated by Ajax.
“After almost eleven years on the board, I am done,” Van der Sar said of his decision to leave Ajax. “We have experienced wonderful things together, but it has also been an incredibly tough period.
“I am very grateful for the people I have met and worked with during my second career at Ajax, and what we have achieved and been through together. I feel the need to take some distance, to get some rest, and to do other things.
“It doesn’t feel good to take decisions about the future of this wonderful club in the coming period. That is why I have decided to resign.”