As Tottenham’s new stadium prepares to host its second test event, football.london’s Alasdair Gold has profiled the returning legends who are set to feature in an all-star clash vs Inter Milan.
Not every Spurs player in the squad for Saturday’s test event deserves to be labelled a club legend – the inclusion of Pascal Chimbonda attests to that – but there is one cult hero who fans will be eagerly looking forward to watching.
That man is Rafael van der Vaart, the iconic Dutch playmaker who Spurs signed from Real Madrid for a bargain fee of just £8 million in 2010.
During his pinnacle he was a player who had fans salivating as he tiptoed beyond defenders with his immaculate ball control and transformed the game with his range of passing.
It’s no wonder that, with his stint with the club still relatively fresh in memory, Gold delivered a glowing verdict on Van der Vaart in his football.london piece profiling the weekend squad.
‘A real fans’ favourite and the Dutchman fell in love with the club after his deadline day shock move from Real Madrid.
‘He always regrets leaving Spurs when he did and after 28 goals in 77 appearance, with a few against Arsenal, he will be a very popular returnee this coming weekend.’
Van der Vaart was a sensation amongst the White Hart Lane faithful.
At top level sport the margins between the good and the exceptional are fine but also glaringly tangible, and the number ten was evidently in a class of his own at times.
His transient spell in north London was short and incredibly sweet as he returned to Hamburg just two years after his arrival.
As Gold has alluded to, the 109-cap Netherlands international regrets his decision in hindsight, and it’s fair to say that feeling is mirrored by the consensus amongst the supporters.
While a friendly legends fixture is hardly one to take seriously, a cascade of nostalgia is likely to ripple around the walls of the new stadium with every glowing moment of genius he is destined to provide this weekend.
Oh what could have been for Tottenham and Van der Vaart.