‘Leaving Tottenham Was The Stupidest Decision Of My Career’ – Rafael Van Der Vaart Gets All Misty Eyed

Chris Wright

22nd, July 2015


By Chris Wright

As he continues to sashay ghostlike into the twilight of his professional career, Rafael van der Vaart has been in a reminiscent mood of late.

After enjoying something of a renaissance at Tottenham, the Dutchman’s prodigal return to Hamburg in the summer of 2012 didn’t quite pan out as he’d envisioned and it would appear that the 32-year-old still longs to recapture the giddy magic of his White Hart Lane days.

Reeling in the years in an interview with the Daily Mirror, Van der Vaart – who left the Bundesliga again to join Real Betis a month or so ago – admitted that he enjoyed the best two seasons of his career at Spurs and that he still regrets giving it all up as soon as he did.

“It was private things, but also when what’s his name [Andre Villas-Boas] came he said to me ‘you’re not my number one’ and I had played two years, like, unbelievable, so for me it was really strange that he said that to me. So then I said, well, it’s better to leave and that is what happened.

“It was a stupid decision, the most stupid in my career to leave Tottenham. I absolutely regret it because it was the best two years in my football life.

“When you see that team, when you have Bale, Modric, me, Lennon… it was an unbelievable team. I think every game we played we were the better side. We had a lot of possession and a lot of fun with each other.

“And Harry [Redknapp] — he was like your dad. I would give everything for that man; I was really sad when he left.”

Van der Vaart also revealed that he attempted to engineer a return to Spurs this summer such is his love for the club, but instead joined Betis when a triumphant return to North London failed to materialise for a variety of reasons.

“Because I didn’t have a contract, I almost tried to come back [to Spurs], then Betis came and I decided to come to Betis, but Tottenham was always special.”

“But if [Spurs] had wanted me, I would have gone. But Betis came and the decision was quite quick: Betis.”


So close, and yet so far.

Posted in Bundesliga, La Liga, Newsnow, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. rse says:

    Favorite VDV moment:

    In August 2004 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then VDV’s teammate at Ajax, clattered into VDV in an international friendly and injured him. Zlatan claimed it was an accident; VDV insisted it was intentional. A week later Zlatan scored THAT goal versus NAC Breda. As the stadium is going berserk, the TV producer cuts to the private box where VDV sits, stone faced, absolutely refusing to acknowledge the genius of Zlatan.

    A week after that, Ajax took VDV’s side and sold Zlatan to Juventus.

  2. Ken says:

    Quality Player. One of my favourites. Another balls up by bleeding AVB

  3. Feenix says:

    When Rafa was in our team it was probably one of the best sides to ever had played at Spurs. If only it had stayed together…still we are used to Levy breaking up teams at Spurs as he is normally behind anything that goes wrong at Tottenham. I do have to say though on the business side of things he is the best if only he would stay out of team affairs.

    Story of a Spurs supporters life….”if only”.

  4. Forever yid says:

    Ive bee a Yidd born in Leicester , someone said to me Yeats ago your not a Yid m you were not born In London, I’m an Aussie lived her since 1985 , celebrated even Australia won lar per week tuner my country, I love us, but my real love Spurs k I look at newsnow Tottenham everyday, two eats ago I a cockerel tattooed on my arm . I’m a Yid and don’t you dareandsay I’m joy, I’m the one that sits up til the early morning to see my team ,my team my love of my life I’m amid were at last going places m I might be an Aussie button I’m a Tis and donut you forget it all Sie yid were everywhere



  5. gamblino says:


  6. Jarren says:

    Quite, gamblino.

    May I recommend two swift Advils down the hatch for anyone else who attempted to read that.

  7. TravisKOP says:

    I may need a double dose Jarren!

  8. Brodie of Mylton says:

    Re:Forever yid: Clearly a wind up

    Do miss Rafa though; and he was right regarding Harry – he’s like having your dad as manager. Too little too late now. As feenix stated, it’s classic tottenham. Oh well. COYS!

  9. westhamjim says:

    Poor old spuds small time club thats why he left.

  10. PetrovskyKSC says:

    @Forever yid: Please ask chris for a job at pies. Now THAT would take this page to a new level of entertainment

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