Rafael van der Vaart admits regret over Tottenham Hotspur exit

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Rafael van der Vaart was a short-lived fans favourite in the white and blue half of north London. The Dutchman scored 28 goals in 77 appearances for Spurs before his two year tenure at the club came to an abrupt end when he signed for Hamburg in 2012.

The Glory Days

The name Van der Vaart will be long associated with the not too distant glory days of Tottenham Hotspur. You remember the days right? The electric combination of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon hugging the White Hart Lane touchlines, the little magician that was Luka Modric pulling the strings in the centre of the park.

Then there was the 6ft 7in gangly forward Peter Crouch spearheading Spurs' attacks, and of course his partner in crime, Van der Vaart.


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The Dutchman was prolific in his time at Tottenham. On countless occasions you'd see him on the end of a Crouch knock down, tucking in a set piece or dazzling the Spurs faithful with a bit of trickery.

Van der Vaart did some reminiscing of his own recently following his recent transfer to Real Betis, after a torrid two years in Germany with Hamburg. Speaking about his time at Spurs - as relayed by ESPN - he said: "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."

Van der Vaart would be hard pressed to find similar fond footballing memories in recent years with relegation threatened HSV.

The best times

Van der Vaart's stint at Tottenham ranks amongst the best for both him personally and the club. During his two years Spurs recorded their joint highest ever league position in the club's history (4th) and a debut campaign in Europe's elite competition, the Champions League, where they crashed out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals following spirited triumphs over both Milan clubs.

Van der Vaart described his time at spurs as "the two best years in my football life." That only begs the question, why did he leave a club he loved so soon after joining?

What's his name?

Van der Vaart placed his spurs exit down to "private things" initially, but wasn't so subtle in blaming one man for his premature departure.

He said: "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."

The failure to mention Andre Villas Boas' name indicates the former Spurs manager left a bitter taste in the Dutchman's mouth, as it is clear that the Portuguese coach put the nail in the coffin of Van der Vaart's Spurs career.


Upon reflection the former Spurs number 11 admitted he regrets having left the club.

"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."

Spurs fans what are your thoughts on the revelations about AVB? Would you liked to have seen Van der Vaart make a return to White Hart Lane? Leave a comment in the box below!

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Transfer News
Real Betis
Andre Villas-Boas
Harry Redknapp
Tottenham Hotspur
Rafael Van der Vaart

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