Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United FC)
The Dutchman showed that, at 38, he remains a formidable presence between the posts, exuding calm and assurance during United's run of 1,334 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal. Those 14 clean sheets proved pivotal to their third successive domestic title and Van der Sar was equally reliable in the UEFA Champions League, conceding just three goals in nine games from group stage to semi-finals, so ensuring the disappointment of United's final defeat – his second at the Stadio Olimpico – would not detract from an impressive overall contribution. "I've had quite a long career and won a couple of prizes with different clubs," Van der Sar said of his prize. "To get an individual award, and something as big as this, is a nice experience and a great honour."
Petr Čech (Chelsea FC)
Chelsea's Czech No1 showed his standards remain sky-high during a campaign where he helped the London club record the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League alongside Manchester United FC, with just 24 goals conceded. In the UEFA Champions League he was the only custodian to leave Camp Nou with his goal unbreached – indeed the first to achieve the feat in any competition in 2008/09 – and though Chelsea eventually lost out to the Catalans, an FA Cup winners' medal and Czech Player of the Year award provided some recompense.
Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona)
The spotlight may have shone on more celebrated colleagues further upfield but Barcelona’s homegrown No1 played his own telling role in the club's unprecedented treble success at home and in Europe, earning in the process the Zamora award for Spanish football's best keeper. For all the goals flying in at the other end, the 27-year-old remained alert to make key saves when called upon, notably from Didier Drogba when the striker broke through in both legs of the Azulgrana's tightly contested UEFA Champions League semi-final against Chelsea FC.
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