There is bittersweet news out of the world of football today for Tottenham Hotspur fans.
Fan favourite Rafa Van der Vaart has announced his retirement from football this morning following a fantastic 18-year career.
This news comes after a recent injury at his final club, Danish side Esbjerg.
The 35 year old played at the likes of Tottenham, Real Madrid, Ajax and Hamburg through his glistening career.
Van der Vaart was an instant fan favourite at White Hart Lane during his stint with Spurs.
The Dutch magician was famed for his silky play, pure passion, and goals against arch rivals Arsenal.
He had an instant appreciation with regards to what it meant to play for Tottenham, and the various rivalries within the club’s history.
Van der Vaart was capped 109 times for his country, and played in three European Championships and two World Cups, even making it to the final in 2010.
Rafa has always claimed that the Lilywhite years were the favourite moments of his career, and many Spurs fans will be dying to see him return to the club in a coaching role.
He told De Telegraaf: “I just have to stop now. I am not here to rehabilitate, but to play football. The fun will be different and that’s what I want to be. I wanted to become a football grandpa, but unfortunately that is not the case.
“At this moment I can only be grateful for all the years I was allowed to play football. All those players, staff and fans, from the ArenA, the Volksparkstadion, White Hart Lane to the Bernabeu, I just have warm feelings about it. It was a great time.
“I won prizes and played in championships, both with my clubs, the Dutch national team and individually. In all those years I have been able to play football with and against so many great players in the most beautiful stadiums.
“I had never dared to dream of that as a young boy.”
Time to come home Rafa.
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