Ajax star Onana hails “football godfather” Van der Sar amid Man Utd links

Edwin van der Sar continues to have a huge influence at Ajax and is an inspiration to to their current No 1 Andre Onana, who occasionally shares the training pitch with the Dutchman

Edwin van der Sar has been labelled a “football Godfather”

Andre Onana has hailed Edwin van der Sar as his “football Godfather” and admits the Dutchman, now 51, still gets involved at training every so often.

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The Ajax goalkeeper has returned from a spell away from football after being banned following a positive drugs test.

Now back at the Dutch side, Onana has been able to reclaim his No 1 role and is expected to move on sooner rather than later.

Ajax won six from six in the Champions League and are top of the Eredivise but veteran Remko Pasveer has been first choice.

Edwin van der Sar has played a key role in the background, helping the Amsterdam outfit unearth young talent whilst effectively exercising the market.

The former Manchester United goalkeeper, who began his career at Ajax, continues to see his reputation grow.

Onana is among his admirers and is full of praise for how Van der Sar nurtured him, especially after losses.

Have Your Say! Is Van der Sar Man Utd’s greatest goalkeeper? Tell us in the comments here.

Andre Onana looks set to leave Ajax in the upcoming transfer window


Gerrit van Keulen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

“It’s impossible to have a better footballing godfather,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Every time we lost, he would come to talk to me because he knows that losing is something that I can’t abide.

“He would advise me a lot, we had a very good relationship, he was one of the best goalkeepers in the world in his time.”

Van der Sar ended up in the Premier League with Manchester United, where he won the Premier League and the Champions League.

The Dutchman made the defining penalty save to deliver the European Cup in 2008 and still gets his gloves out today.

Onana claimed: “Once in a while he would come and train with us, especially when we were in preseason or when he had a veterans’ game coming up.

“When there’s a legends’ match, I would see him turn up with his gloves.”

Onana’s spell out of the game came despite UEFA acknowledging that the Cameroonian didn’t intend to take drugs.

The goalkeeper took a pill to cure a headache which proved costly.

“It’s a stigma,” he claimed. “It sometimes feels like the words [drugs cheat] are stamped on here.

Edwin van der Sar plays a crucial role for the Dutch giants

“That week I tested positive I had done two or three tests because they had tested me in the league and the cup. But they don’t see it that way. You can have 17 negative tests before and it makes no difference.

“It’s very simple what happened. I woke up with a headache and took a pill.”

He went on to say: “I took the tablet without a second thought and when I was picked for the random tests and I was the first to run across and get it over with.

“In the end the law says that you are responsible for everything that goes into you. If today I go into a shop and I buy a bottle of water and the water is contaminated, it’s my responsibility.”

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