Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar to speak at Dubai International Sports Conference

The Ajax chief executive joins former England manager Fabio Capello and Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano at the December 28 event at Madinat Jumeirah

Edwin van der Sar, the former Juventus and Manchester United goalkeeper who is now chief executive of Dutch club Ajax, will be in the UAE for the Dubai International Sports Conference in December. Handout photo
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Edwin van der Sar has been confirmed to speak at this month’s Dubai International Sports Conference, alongside Fabio Capello and Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.

The former Manchester United goalkeeper, now chief executive at Ajax, will make his first appearance at the event, which takes place at Madinat Jumeirah on December 28. This year’s theme for the conference is “Future Football Accelerators”.

Recognised as one of the game’s finest goalkeepers, Van der Sar’s professional career spanned 21 years and included spells at the likes of Ajax, Juventus and United as well as the Dutch national team with whom he won 130 caps.

He was a part of the Ajax and United sides that lifted the Champions League crown in 1995 and 2008, respectively. In all, he won 27 major trophies. Since retiring, Van der Sar has been a member of the Ajax boardroom.

Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council and chairman of DISC’s Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to announce the participation of one of the best goalkeepers to ever play the game, Edwin van der Sar.

“Now the CEO of Ajax, the club where his senior professional career started, Van Der Sar is in a unique position, with experience of both sides of the fence: as goalkeeper, which is one of the most demanding positions in the game, and as a club chief executive.

“The experience he brings, and the insights he will offer at the conference, will really enrich the discussions we are going to have on December 28."

Capello, the former England manager who has coached a number of prominent clubs in Europe including Real Madrid, will make his ninth appearance at the event, which began in 2006 and is organised by Dubai Sports Council.

Soriano, meanwhile, is chief executive of City and parent company City Football Group. He will attend the conference for the third successive year.

“We are also delighted to welcome back Mr Fabio Capello and Mr Ferran Soriano, who have been two of the staunchest supporters of the Dubai International Sports Conference,” Hareb said. “Again, both will have some amazing insights to offer as we discuss the resurgence of English club football: the finals of both the 2019 Uefa Champions League and the 2019 Uefa Europa League were all-English affairs.

“It was the first time ever that four clubs from the same nation contested the two major European finals in the same season, and we have three top men to discuss the ascent of English football.”