Tottenham Hotspur have had some fan favourites through the years, but few reached the level of Rafa Van Der Vaart in such a short spell at the club.
To be considered as a ‘club legend’ after playing just two seasons at White Hart Lane takes some doing, but Van Der Vaart managed it after just a few games in a Lilywhite shirt.
After transferring on deadline day from Real Madrid, the Dutchman instantly picked up the passion of the club, something that was a hit with the Spurs faithful.
With his silky skill, wonderful set pieces, and goals against Arsenal, Rafa quickly become one of the most popular players on the team, which is impressive as he lined up next to the likes of Luka Modric, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, and Gareth Bale.
The ex-Spurs man is often one to recall fond memories of his time in North London, as well as his regret at leaving, something he has reflected on again ahead of his appearance in the legends test event tomorrow.
He said (Standard): “The way I played, Tottenham was the best phase of my career. It’s always a warm feeling when I think back.
“It’s really important that when you come to a club, you know the history. My dream was always Real Madrid or Barcelona, but for the fans of Tottenham, the club is the biggest in the world. So that’s how I treated it.
“These days, there’s a lot of tactics but people come to see a back-heel, nice goals, teams that prefer to win 4-3 instead of 1-0. That’s what I liked about Spurs.
“From the beginning, I remember [player liaison] Allan Dixon said, ‘Rafa, there’s only one game’. He was thinking about the away game [at Arsenal] because they didn’t win it for so many years. Two-nil down, I scored and had two assists. You can imagine how that day was.”
In the interview, Van Der Vaart also labelled his choice to leave the club for Hamburg as a ‘stupid decision’.
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