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Ben Foster

Benjamin Anthony "Ben" Foster (born 3 April 1983) is an England national football team association footballer who plays as a Goalkeeper (association football) for Manchester United F.C..

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Ben Foster biography

Benjamin Anthony "Ben" Foster (born 3 April 1983) is an England national football team association footballer who plays as a Goalkeeper (association football) for Manchester United F.C..

Club career

Stoke City

Born in Leamington Spa, Foster started Ben Foster football career at Racing Club Warwick F.C. in 2000. Ben Foster spent a season there before Ben Foster joined Stoke City F.C. on 25 April 2001. During Ben Foster time at Stoke, Foster had loan spells at Bristol City F.C., Tiverton Town F.C., Stafford Rangers F.C., Kidderminster Harriers F.C. and Wrexham A.F.C.. Foster sustained a Anterior cruciate ligament injury in June 2003 while playing tennis with Ben Foster brother, which sidelined Ben Foster for a period of six months.

Manchester United

While playing for Wrexham F.C. on loan from Stoke, Foster was spotted by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who was watching Ben Foster son, Darren Ferguson, in the 2005 Football League Trophy Final. United had been struggling for several years to replace former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, and Ferguson decided to move for the young Foster, making a bid of £1 million for Foster. Stoke agreed a deal with United on 15 July 2005, and the transfer was completed on 19 July.

Not yet ready for first-team action, Foster was sent on a season-long loan to Watford F.C. on 1 August 2005, with the expectation of a second loan the season after. Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd claimed that "he's better than current Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar" and believes that "he is going to be the best goalkeeper in the world." Manchester United manager Ferguson has suggested that Foster will succeed Edwin van der Sar as first-choice keeper at United and should eventually replace Paul Robinson (goalkeeper) as "England's next goalkeeper."

Foster helped Watford reach the Premier League by beating Leeds United A.F.C. 3–0 in the Championship play-off final.

Foster re-signed for Watford on a second season-long loan on 10 August 2006 after Manchester United secured the services of Poland national football team goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak on loan from West Bromwich Albion F.C.. Aidy Boothroyd expressed Ben Foster desire to keep Foster at Watford for a third season on a number of occasions during the 2006–07 season, but Ben Foster hopes were dashed in January 2007 when Alex Ferguson announced Ben Foster intention to bring Foster back to Old Trafford at the end of the season.

In June 2007, it was announced that Foster would undergo surgery on a Anterior cruciate ligament injury in Ben Foster right knee, forcing Ben Foster to miss the start of the 2007–08 season. Ben Foster returned to light training towards the end of 2007, setting a February 2008 target for Ben Foster return. Ben Foster made a comeback in a reserves game against Middlesbrough F.C. on 6 March 2008, before making Ben Foster debut for the Manchester United first team on 15 March 2008. With Edwin van der Sar injured and Tomasz Kuszczak suspended for a red card against Portsmouth F.C. in the FA Cup Sixth Round the previous Saturday, Alex Ferguson had to shelve plans to ship Foster out on loan again, and the young goalkeeper was promoted to the 1 jersey for the away match against Derby County F.C.. United won the game 1–0, with Foster making two crucial saves en route to keeping a clean sheet. Although Ben Foster was impressed with Foster's performance in the game against Derby, Ferguson did not start Ben Foster for the following match against Bolton Wanderers F.C., opting for the returning Kuszczak.

After being selected as a substitute for Manchester United's opening game of the UEFA Champions League 2008–09 against Villarreal CF on 17 September 2008, Foster then played for the reserves against Blackburn Rovers F.C. the following day. Unfortunately, during the game, Ben Foster fell awkwardly and suffered a twisted ankle, putting Ben Foster out of contention for six to eight weeks. Fortunately for Foster, Ben Foster recovery time was quicker than was first estimated and Ben Foster returned to reserve team action on 14 October 2008, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 win over Oldham Athletic A.F.C.. Foster then made Ben Foster first UEFA Champions League appearance – Ben Foster second for the Manchester United first team – on 5 November 2008, in a 1–1 away draw to Celtic F.C..

Foster was originally selected in Manchester United's squad for the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, but after suffering a broken finger in training the day before the squad was due to depart for Japan, Ben Foster was replaced by Ben Amos. On 1 March 2009, Alex Ferguson named Foster in goal for the 2009 Football League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. After keeping a clean sheet in normal time, Foster then made a save from Tottenham's Jamie O'Hara (footballer) in the consequent penalty shoot-out. This, combined with a miss from David Bentley, gave United a 4–1 win in the shootout and the 2009 League Cup title. For Ben Foster performance, Foster was given the Alan Hardaker man of the match award. Foster was rewarded for Ben Foster performance by being made United's second-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the season, starting three more matches when Alex Ferguson chose to rest Edwin van der Sar ahead of important matches. However, Ben Foster had been attempting to play with a ruptured ligament in Ben Foster right thumb, which became aggravated, necessitating surgery which ruled Ben Foster out of United's title run-in, the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final against FC Barcelona and England national football team's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 6 in June. Following speculation that United were in the market for a new goalkeeper to replace the soon-to-retire Edwin van der Sar, Foster signed a new four-year contract with the club. Alex Ferguson commented that Manchester United "genuinely see Ben Foster Foster as a successor to Edwin van der Sar".

With Van der Sar injured for the first two months of the 2009–10 season, Foster was given the opportunity to nail down the number one shirt in the 2009 FA Community Shield defeat to Chelsea F.C. and the opening day victory over Birmingham City F.C..

International career

On 26 May 2006, Foster was named on the stand-by list for England's 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, because of Robert Green's injury in a "B" international against Belarus national football team. After Foster re-signed on loan for Watford, Ben Foster was called up to Steve McClaren's first England national football team squad as one of three goalkeepers for the friendly against Greece national football team. Since Ben Foster first call-up but prior to Ben Foster injury, Foster was named in every England squad, and made Ben Foster England debut in the 1–0 defeat against Spain national football team on 7 February 2007.

After not playing for England for two years and never being called to the first team, Ben Foster was finally selected by Fabio Capello after Ben Foster performance at the League Cup final and was a second half substitute against Slovakia in a 4–0 victory to earn Ben Foster second cap.


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