Rafael van der Vaart: My beast years were at Tottenham

‘That was my two very best years, two years of top performance’: Rafael van der Vaart believes his Tottenham spell was the finest of his career after announcing retirement from football

  • Rafael van der Vaart called time on his playing career on Monday
  • He turned out for some of Europe’s biggest clubs – Ajax, Real Madrid and Spurs
  • The playmaker, however, believes he was at his best while at Tottenham
  • During his two-year stint there, he scored 28 goals in 77 appearances 

Rafael van der Vaart believes his best years as a footballer came during his two-season stint at Tottenham.

The silky playmaker on Monday called time on his career after turning out for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Ajax and Real Madrid.

The Dutchman played 77 times for Spurs from 2010-12 and scored 28 goals during his time at White Hart Lane.

The Dutchman played for Premier League club Tottenham for three years between 2010-13

The Dutchman played for Premier League club Tottenham for three years between 2010-13

And, despite a trophy-laden start to his career at Ajax and playing with superstars at the Bernabeu, Van der Vaart believes he was at the apogee of his powers while in north London.

‘That was my two very best years, two years of top performance, many competitions,’ Van der Vaart told NOS of his time at Spurs.

‘I played in a great team with fantastic players, like (Gareth) Bale and (Luka) Modric, which was a pleasure.’

The 35-year-old said his retirement is owing to a number of injuries which have taken their toll on his body.

He was most recently under contract with Danish side Esbjerg fB.

The Dutchman said it was a big regret not to win the World Cup in South Africa in 2010

The Dutchman said it was a big regret not to win the World Cup in South Africa in 2010

Van der Vaart said playing for Real Madrid was a dream but, although he won 109 caps, he has some bittersweet memories of playing for Holland.

Reaching the 2010 World Cup was undoubtedly a career highlight, he harbours regrets that he was not able to deliver the trophy for the ‘fantastic’ national team supporters. 

‘That was the highlight in my career, but at the same time the low point,’ he added.

‘If you think about it as a child that you can play a World Cup finals… We were so terribly close.

‘Those fans were really fantastic, and that’s not a joke. They were there for so many of the big tournaments, you will not forget that.

‘Not giving those people a World Cup is the only blotch on my international career.’

 

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