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Fulham's Edwin van der Sar
"I think Fulham is a club with a lot of ambition."
 real 14k

Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 22:13 GMT 23:13 UK
Fulham unveil Van der Sar
Van der Sar has saluted the family atmosphere
Van der Sar has saluted the family atmosphere
Edwin van der Sar said he moved to Fulham because the atmosphere was like his former club Ajax.

The Premiership new boys swooped for the Dutch international keeper in a deal worth a reported 7m.

He was officially unveiled at a news conference at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

The 30-year-old, who has signed a four-year contract, said: "It reminds me of eight or nine years ago at Ajax when the football was important but there was a nice friendly atmosphere.

The championship is not a realistic ambition this year but maybe in four years' time
Edwin van der Sar
"It's like a family here. I feel at home and I feel appreciated."

Van der Sar was a product of the prolific Ajax youth system and was in goal as the Dutch giants won three successive league titles between 1994 and 1996.

One of his 44 caps for Holland came in the memorable 4-1 thrashing against England in Euro 96.

Juventus finished runners-up in the 2000-01 Serie A championship, but the recent big-money arrival of Parma's Italian international keeper Gianluigi Buffon at the Stadio delle Alpi jeopardised his future.

"It was not a nice ending of my career in Juventus," said van der Sar.

"I felt betrayed. We had some arguments and it was a difficult period for me. I had to look for another club.


"I had the possibility to play for Fulham and there's a lot of potential here.

"The championship is not a realistic ambition this year but maybe in four years' time."

Fulham boss Jean Tigana said: "Edwin has played at the top level and it's very important to have a top class goalkeeper.

"My vision for the next season is to stay at the top level and I need three or four players who have played at the top level to do that."

Olympique Lyon's French midfielder Steed Malbranque is also expected to complete a move to Craven Cottage this week.

"I have been trying to buy players but it is difficult, the market is so high," Tigana added.

"I need three or four players, a minimum of four, to strengthen the squad."

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