The hero of Manchester United FC's penalty shoot-out victory in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final had more to celebrate on Tuesday when he stretched his run without conceding a goal to an English top-flight record 1,031 minutes during a 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion FC. "I was watching the minutes tick away towards the end," said Van der Sar, who surpassed the previous mark set Petr Čech by six minutes. "When I saw the clock reach 85 minutes I started to get a good feeling." uefa.com takes its pick of ten other keepers to have gone over 1,000 minutes without conceding in a top-flight European league.
1,390 minutes, Dany Verlinden, Club Brugge KV
Verlinden won five Belgian titles with the 'Blauw-Zwart' in a 16-year spell between 1988 and 2004, and once held the record – later broken by Alessandro Costacurta – for being the oldest player in the UEFA Champions League. He was 40 years, three months and 24 days old when he featured against AFC Ajax in December 2003. His claim to fame, though, remains this incredible run which spanned 16 matches from 3 March 1990 to 26 September 1990.
1,275, Abel Resino, Club Atlético de Madrid
Resino started his 14-match streak on 25 November 1990 and went on until 17 March of the following year before a young Luis Enrique of Real Sporting de Gijón finally brought it to an end. Atlético finished runners-up to FC Barcelona in the league that season but Resino, whose Liga record still stands, collected the Zamora trophy awarded to the goalkeeper with the best record in the top flight.
1,196, Chris Woods, Rangers FC
Woods set a British record between November 1986 and January 1987 when he played 1,196 minutes without conceding a goal. The England international was one of the first signings made by Graeme Souness when he joined Rangers from Norwich City FC after the 1986 FIFA World Cup and would go on to win four Scottish league titles with the club.
1,192, Vítor Baía, FC Porto
The legendary Porto goalkeeper holds the record in Portugal set during his side's 1991/92 title-winning campaign. Porto would concede just eleven goals in 34 matches that season, with current Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Paulo Bento – then playing for Vitória SC – finally ending Vítor Baía's run from the penalty spot.
1,190, Dimitar Ivankov, PFC Levski Sofia
Not content to simply make saves, Bulgarian international Dimitar Ivankov also scored four penalties during a run spanning two seasons, kicking off in a 3-2 win against rivals PFC CSKA Sofia on 6 March 1999. Ivankov, 33, is still playing, and scoring, for Bursaspor in Turkey.
1,176, Gaëtan Huard, FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Gaëtan Huard's unbeaten run started on 4 December 1992 during a 5-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain FC. He did not play the following game but was unbeaten for eleven full matches after that. The series ended on 10 April 1993 with an own goal from midfielder Éric Guérit 79 minutes into a 2-1 home win over Montpellier Hérault SC. "I wanted to make amends after the game in Paris," Huard said. "The longer the run went on, the more we went on the pitch determined to avoid conceding. The 2-1 win over Montpellier felt like a hammer blow."
1,110, Şenol Güneş, Trabzonspor
A monumental figure during Trabzonspor's glory days, Şenol Güneş holds the record in Turkey, keeping a clean sheet for 1,110 minutes from 17 September 1978 to 18 February 1979. Güneş joined Trabzonspor in 1972 and would spend the next 15 years with the club, playing a key role in all six titles the Black Sea club lifted, including that 1978/79 campaign, the club's third and the first of a hat-trick of titles.
1,082, Heinz Stuy, AFC Ajax
Stuy holds the Eredivsie record for not having conceded a goal in 1,082 minutes between 7 February and 27 May 1971. Stuy, along with the likes of Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol and Johnny Rep, was a key part of the Ajax side that dominated Dutch and European football in the early Seventies. He played in and did not concede in any of their European Champion Clubs' Cup final victories in 1971, 1972 and 1973.
1,079, Manuel Bento, SL Benfica
Prior to Vítor Baía, Manuel Bento held the Portuguese record, keeping a clean sheet for 1,079 consecutive minutes to help SL Benfica to the title in 1981. Known as the Rubber Man, Manuel Bento spent 20 seasons with Benfica between 1972 and 1992, winning the title eight times. Capped 63 times for Portugal, he died tragically of a stroke aged 58 in March 2007.
1,025, Petr Čech, Chelsea FC
Claudio Ranieri signed Čech for Chelsea but it was José Mourinho who reaped the rewards. Čech did not let in a goal between 18 December and 5 March as Chelsea cantered to the title in 2004/05, the goalkeeper keeping 25 clean sheets en route to the club's first English crown in 50 years.
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