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Without Man Utd I would have retired long ago - Van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar admits moving to Manchester United has lengthened his career.

He will become only the second 40-year-old to play for Manchester United today, saying he is still enjoying football as much as when he made his debut for Ajax two decades ago.

While he won't break the club record of Billy Meredith - the winger was 46 when he made his final appearance in 1921 - Van der Sar is refusing to rule out another season.

"The moment you are not enjoying yourself and it is hard to get the motivation then it will be time to finish," he said. "But that is not the case at the moment.

"Every morning I still want to get out of bed and go to work. Otherwise I wouldn't still be doing it. I am just happy to be here. You are training with the best players in the world every day and you play for the best club in the world. Every match is sold out and you play in the Champions League every season. These are all incentives to keep going."

Van der Sar, approaching the 900-game milestone in his club and international career, admitted he would have retired long ago if Sir Alex Ferguson had not bought him from Fulham in 2005.

He told the Daily Express: "I don't worry about the day arriving when I no longer look forward to it, because I'm already exceeding my own expectations so it doesn't bother me. When I was younger I thought I would finish in my mid-30s because that is normal for most players.

"But I only came to United late in my career so that is why I am still enjoying it. Coming to Old Trafford gave me a new lease of life."

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