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Jaap Stam

The Dutch international and former Manchester United defender, Jaap Stam, announced his retirement Monday.

Stam, 35, played for United from 1997 to 2001 and participated in the club's treble in 1999 when they won the English Premier league, the European Champions League and the FA Cup as well as the Intercontinental Cup.

Stam won two other English league titles in 1997 and 2000.

Known as "the rock of Kampen" after the Dutch amateur club where began his career, the 1.91 metre tall defender made his professional debut at the age of 20 for Zwolle in the Dutch second divison.

He made his international debut at 23 with a 1-0 loss to Germany in 1996 and went on to win 67 caps for the Netherlands including their semi-finals performances in the 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.

Stam became the most expensive Dutch player in history when he was bought by United for around 11 million pounds (22 million dollars) in 1997.

Edwin Van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar intends to retire from international soccer after next year's European Championship. "I will stop with Oranje after Euro 2008," Van der Sar told Radio 538 on Monday. "The time has come."

The 37-year-old Manchester United goalkeeper is the Dutch team's record holder with 121 international appearances.

The Netherlands needs only one more win from its last two group matches, against Luxembourg and Belarus, to qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament in Switzerland and Austria.

Van der Sar, who made his debut on June 7, 1995, began his career at Ajax, winning the Champions League in 1995. He then moved to Juventus, Fulham and Man United.
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