The reason why Rafael Van Der Vaart joined Tottenham from Real Madrid

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Rafael Van Der Vaart has recently spoken of how his move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2010 came about.

The Dutchman joined the North London side on the final day of the summer transfer window in August 2010 having been told by new manager Jose Mourinho that was is likely to be out of favour at Real Madrid with the recent arrival of Mesut Ozil.

Van Der Vaart said that he appreciated the honesty from Mourinho, while opening up on his spell in the Spanish capital and how the move to Tottenham Hotspur came about.

Van Der Vaart stated in an interview for the television programme Premier League World. “The pressure is crazy [at Real Madrid]. One bad game and you are on the bench,”

“It was Real Madrid and it was normal sometimes not playing. But it was difficult because I was used to playing every week. It was not an easy two years, but I learned so much about dealing with pressure, so it was a really important phase of my career.

“In my second year, Kaka, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Karim] Benzema came in so it was difficult to get into the team, but after a while [Manuel] Pellegrini said it was my turn as I had worked so hard and I had my best time there in that period. But then Pellegrini left.

“[Jose] Mourinho was really honest and I like honest people, because I think that is the most important thing. He said how it was, he said he was going to buy [Mesut] Ozil, and he was going to be his number ten, so he said if you have the chance, just leave.

“It was difficult because you don’t leave Real Madrid for a club that you don’t want, and I remember it was the last day of the transfer deadline, Daniel Levy from Tottenham Hotspur called, and then I had the feeling of ‘yes, come on, we do it’.”

The Dutchman became an instant hit at Tottenham Hotspur during the Harry Redknapp era, scoring 28 goals in 77 appearances in all competitions over his two year spell in the English capital.

Van Der Vaart also admitted that he enjoyed his time at Tottenham Hotspur where he was able to play alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.

“Harry, what a character. He was like a father figure and he would put his arm around you,” he said.

“He did that with the other players as well.

“For me, it is important when you play for a coach that you want to fight for him. That is important when you have good, talented players, that you want to win for him.

“We had some great players and I had two fantastic years there, and we played some really good games.”

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