Rafa Van Der Vaart was at Wembley for our Champions League win against another of his former clubs, Real Madrid.
The 3-1 win booked our place in the knockout stage of the competition – something Rafa helped us achieve back in 2010-11 – and for the Dutchman, the night was a reminder, just how much he’s loved here at Spurs as Wembley rose together to sing his name at half-time.
The piece adds that Rafa,a man for the big occasion, was devastating in the team that reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2010-11 with one of the highlights being the opening goal in the famous 3-1 win against Inter Milan at the Lane and of course his four goals in three north London derbies against Arsenal.
Rafa scored 15 goals in 35 appearances in the Premier League and Champions League in his first season at Spurs, 2010-11 – a campaign he still looks back on as his best – before 11 in 33 in the Premier League in 2011-12.
Rafa spoke to the club pitchside at the Madrid about being back at Spurs and pitchside at Wembley
“It’s special to be back,” he smiled. “I still get goosebumps. It (his time at Spurs) was something special, I can’t find the words.
“Just being able to play at White Hart Lane was a privilege and to play in a team with so many good players and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it was a special journey.
Rafa added “We had some great nights, some great games against Arsenal, great goals and especially the connection with the fans. I will never forget that.
“After so many years I come back but it still feels like I’m coming home.
“You come to the stadium, I still know a few people and they hug you like ‘you are family’ and all I can say is thanks for that.”
He was only with us for a short period but it was one hell of a ride and I think he’d have settled with us if it wasn’t for family reasons. His dedication and love for the club in that short space of time was amazing and was certainly one of the greatest to pull on the famous white shirt of Spurs.
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