Rafael van der Vaart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rafael van der Vaart
Van der Vaart at practice with Hamburger SV in 2014
Personal information
Full name Rafael Ferdinand van der Vaart[1]
Date of birth (1983-02-11) 11 February 1983 (age 41)[2]
Place of birth Heemskerk, Netherlands
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)[3]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1987–1993 De Kennemers
1993–2000 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2005 Ajax 117 (52)
2005–2008 Hamburger SV 74 (30)
2008–2010 Real Madrid 58 (11)
2010–2012 Tottenham Hotspur 63 (24)
2012–2015 Hamburger SV 78 (16)
2015–2016 Betis 7 (0)
2016–2018 Midtjylland 17 (2)
2018 Esbjerg 3 (0)
Total 417 (135)
International career
1998–1999 Netherlands U17 13 (5)
1999–2000 Netherlands U19 8 (2)
2000–2001 Netherlands U21 4 (2)
2001–2013 Netherlands 109 (25)
Managerial career
2021–2023 Esbjerg (assistant)
2022 Esbjerg (interim)
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Netherlands
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up 2010 South Africa
UEFA European Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Portugal
UEFA European Under-16 Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Israel U-16 Team
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Rafael Ferdinand van der Vaart (engl.: 'from the ride', born 11 February 1983) is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.[4]

Van der Vaart began his career at Ajax's youth academy and worked his way into the first team, debuting as a 17-year-old. Known for his playmaking skills, he drew comparisons to Johan Cruyff. He was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year and became the first recipient of the Golden Boy Award while at the club. He moved to Bundesliga club Hamburger SV, then to Real Madrid, then on to Tottenham Hotspur before returning to Hamburger SV in 2012. In the latter stages of his career, Van der Vaart had brief spells playing in Spain and Denmark before announcing his retirement in 2018, and return in 2019 with a testimonial match.

Van der Vaart earned 109 caps for the Netherlands between 2001 and 2013. He represented the country at three UEFA European Championships and two FIFA World Cups, reaching the final in 2010.

In 2019, Van der Vaart began his darts career, joining the British Darts Organisation.

Early life[edit]

Van der Vaart was born in Heemskerk to a Dutch father and a Spanish mother from Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz, who had moved to the Netherlands weeks after birth.[5] He grew up on a trailer park, belonging to a Dutch cultural minority called the Woonwagenbewoners, who had ties to the Irish Travellers and the Yenish people, and he often pretended to be Romário while playing football.[6][7] It was at the trailer park that he learned how to play football and, before joining Ajax, he played for a local club called De Kennemers based in Beverwijk. At the age of ten, he joined the Ajax Academy.[7] Van der Vaart has said of his upbringing: "That was the way my family lived. My father was born there and it is a lifestyle. Maybe it is not a normal lifestyle but I always liked it. I always played football on the street. It was an easy life, then I was 10 years old and went to Ajax and played there for almost 12 years."[8]

Club career[edit]


Van der Vaart came through the ranks at Ajax with national teammates John Heitinga and Wesley Sneijder. Initially, he signed for Ajax on a trial basis as a ten-year-old, but was eventually enrolled permanently after impressing the coaches. At the age of 17, Van der Vaart made his debut for the Ajax senior side in a 1–1 draw with Den Bosch on 19 April 2000 in the 1999–00 season. After he broke into the Ajax first team, Van der Vaart was "hailed as the new Johan Cruyff".[9][10]

Van der Vaart was with Ajax from 1993 to 2005.

In the 2000–01 season, Ajax manager Co Adriaanse increased Van der Vaart's playing time by moving him to the attacking midfielder position. He was voted European Talent of the Year by Italian football website CalcioManager.[11]

The next season, Van der Vaart suffered a serious knee injury against RKC Waalwijk on 10 February 2002 which required an operation that involved the removal of his entire meniscus. This injury forced him to miss the run-in to Ajax's successful Eredivisie campaign and their Dutch Cup triumph against Utrecht in the 2001–02 season, but it did not stop him being named the Netherlands' Talent of the Year, mainly thanks to the 15 goals in just 27 games that he scored before the incident.

In 2002–03, Ajax won the Amsterdam Tournament, though injury limited Van der Vaart to 21 league appearances, in which he scored 18 goals.[12] After his return to fitness, he scored a vital goal in the UEFA Champions League away to Lyon, which propelled Ajax into the knockout stages.

In the first half of 2003–04, his performances were poor. Van der Vaart admitted he was overweight, and the media criticized his celebrity lifestyle with his then-fiancée, The Music Factory VJ Sylvie Meis.[13] He became an influential figure once again as Ajax claimed another league title. By that stage, Van der Vaart had firmly established himself as one of the stars of the Ajax team, as well as one of the most popular players in the Netherlands.

Van der Vaart was named team captain by coach Ronald Koeman for the 2004–05 season. During an international match against Sweden on 18 August 2004, he was injured by then-Ajax teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović, which led to the sale of Ibrahimović to Juventus two weeks later, following controversial accusations that the Swede had intentionally tried to hurt Van der Vaart. [14] He was unhappy at being played out of position, and following his refusal to play on the wing in a Champions League match in December, he was stripped of the team captaincy by Koeman.[15]

His ongoing injury problems that resulted in an average of only 23 league appearances in five seasons with Ajax, led him to announce that he was leaving the club at the end of the year.

Hamburger SV[edit]

At this point, Van der Vaart's performances were attracting interest from some of Europe's top clubs. He had previously been strongly linked to Milan, but in the summer of 2005, he signed for Bundesliga outfit Hamburger SV in Germany. Van der Vaart's €5.5 million transfer to Hamburg, on 1 June 2005,[16] raised many eyebrows. Many other top-flight clubs had shown interest in the midfielder but he chose Hamburg. Ajax legend Johan Cruyff himself commented in his De Telegraaf column: "I don't know what to say about it or what Rafael van der Vaart is doing in Hamburg."[17] He played a massive part in Hamburg's impressive away form that season, scoring in each of their first four games on the road; in fact, in the course of his first one and a half seasons with the German club, they did not lose a single match away from home while he was on the pitch. Van der Vaart finished his first season as the team's top scorer as Hamburg finished third in the league and won the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

He assumed the team captaincy for the 2006–07 season. This season proved to be a difficult one for his club, and despite Van der Vaart's three goals in the Champions League group stages, they made an early exit from the competition, while languishing for several months in the bottom half of the Bundesliga table as Van der Vaart was troubled by injuries throughout the season. The arrival of Van der Vaart's countryman Huub Stevens as head coach, however, saw Hamburg march up the standings and they finished the season in a respectable seventh place, qualifying for, and also winning, the Intertoto Cup.

After garnering interest from Real Madrid from Spain, Van der Vaart responded by saying, "I am set to spend another season in Hamburg," of which he told Welt am Sonntag. He further added, "Now we have the team to achieve something." In the 2007–08 season, Van der Vaart scored 12 league goals as Hamburg finished fourth in the league, while reaching the round of 16 in the UEFA Cup. During the UEFA Cup away win at FC Zürich, he tore ankle ligaments and was out of action for several weeks. Despite interest from other clubs such as Chelsea[18] and Valencia,[19] he stated that he would stay at Hamburg until the end of the season, but opted out of signing a contract extension.[20]

Real Madrid[edit]

"Rafael van der Vaart is a player of great quality, vision and talent. We are certain that he will be a player who will help us complement the already very strong squad we have."

Ramón Calderón on Van der Vaart following his arrival at Real Madrid in August 2008.[21]

Van der Vaart in action for Real Madrid

Towards the end of the 2007–08 season, Van der Vaart was linked to a move to several clubs including Atlético Madrid and Juventus. Atlético made a €15 million bid for the Dutchman,[22] which Hamburg rejected, and in the end, it was their cross-town rivals who got Van der Vaart's signature instead.

On 4 August 2008, Real Madrid and Hamburg reached a €13 million agreement for Van der Vaart's transfer, Real Madrid's only summer signing.[23] He signed a five-year contract for an undisclosed amount.[24] Van der Vaart debuted in a 2–1 pre-season win four days later, against Colombian side Independiente, where he scored the equalising goal and provided an assist for the winner.[25]

He changed his squad number from 19 to his favoured number 23 after teammate Wesley Sneijder took number 10 following Robinho's departure to Manchester City on 31 August.[26] He marked his league debut for Real Madrid with a strike against Numancia in a 4–3 victory. On 24 September, he scored his first career hat-trick in a 7–1 thrashing of Sporting de Gijón.[27] In October 2008, Van der Vaart was one of the many La Liga players to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or, but the award eventually went to Manchester United forward and future teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.[28] For the latter part of the 2008–09 season, Van der Vaart was mostly utilised as an impact substitute by coach Juande Ramos, which led to speculations of a fall-out between coach and player. Despite transfer rumours linking him with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, he denied having any links with the English clubs.[29]

During the summer of 2009, it was speculated that van der Vaart would leave Real Madrid after being told he was not going to be part of the team's plans by coach Manuel Pellegrini. His number 23 jersey was even handed to Esteban Granero in preseason, leaving him without a squad number. Towards the end of the summer transfer window, however, he eventually came to an agreement with Real Madrid to stay with the club after the squad size had been reduced to 25 players as Dutch compatriots Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar were forced to leave the club. Van der Vaart was handed his original number 23 jersey while Granero was given number 24. After a wait of four games, Van der Vaart was finally included in Pellegrini's squad list to face Villarreal on 23 September.[30] An injury to Kaká gave Van der Vaart a chance to establish himself as a key player for Real Madrid again. On 20 December, he scored two goals in a 6–0 win against Real Zaragoza. He scored his last goal for Real Madrid against Málaga on 16 May 2010. Van der Vaart stated his desire to stay at Real Madrid, at least until the end of his contract.[31]

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

On 31 August 2010, two hours before the transfer window closed, Tottenham Hotspur made an offer of £8 million for Van der Vaart. According to Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, an £18 million transfer to Bayern Munich had collapsed the day before and Van der Vaart had suddenly become much cheaper, although such a price reduction was later denied by Real Madrid.[32][33][34] Due to problems with computer servers used in the transaction between Tottenham and Real Madrid, preventing the necessary paperwork from being completed, Spurs requested special dispensation from the Premier League to allow the transfer to proceed.[33][35] The Premier League confirmed on 1 September that the transfer had been permitted after they gave Tottenham special dispensation due to "technical problems". He signed a four-year contract at White Hart Lane.[36][37][38] It was announced that Van der Vaart would wear the number 11 shirt for Spurs.[39] Van der Vaart later denied speculation that he had been a failure at Real Madrid, stating that he always gave his best over the last few years for both club and country, and that he wanted to show his quality for his new club.[40][41]

Van der Vaart with Tottenham Hotspur

Van der Vaart made his Premier League debut for Spurs in a 1–1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on 11 September 2010,[42] and his Champions League bow for the club three days later against Werder Bremen, providing an assist for Peter Crouch in a 2–2 draw.[43][44] Van der Vaart scored his first Premier League goal from the penalty spot in a 3–1 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 18 September.[45][46] After starting his Spurs career by scoring three goals in four Premier League matches, and with a goal and an assist in two Champions League matches, Van der Vaart was named Goal.com World Player of the Week on 4 October 2010.[47] He was later named Premier League Player of the Month for October.[48]

A hamstring injury kept Van der Vaart out of action for much of December,[49] but he returned to the Tottenham side on 26 December, scoring both goals in a 2–1 away win over Aston Villa.[50] On 20 April 2011, Van der Vaart revived Tottenham's Champions League ambitions by scoring twice to hold North London rivals Arsenal to a 3–3 draw at White Hart Lane. After losing to Manchester City and being knocked out of the Champions League race, Spurs travelled to Anfield. Van der Vaart scored from 25 yards out in a 2–0 win that put Tottenham in position to secure qualification for the Europa League. He ended the season as Spurs' top scorer in the Premier League, scoring 13 goals – nearly a quarter of Tottenham's total – while also providing the most assists, with nine.[51]

Van der Vaart scored his first two Premier League goals of the following season against Wigan Athletic[52] and Arsenal.[53] Van der Vaart scored a penalty away against Newcastle United on 16 October to keep up a good run of goal scoring form and also scored twice in the 2–1 win over Blackburn Rovers.[54] On 30 October, scored in a 3–1 win over Queens Park Rangers, equalling a Tottenham record by scoring in five consecutive Premier League matches, a record he shares with Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane.[55] On 31 December, he scored away to Swansea City, converting a Benoît Assou-Ekotto cross.[56] Van der Vaart scored a long-range effort against Watford in the FA Cup to send Tottenham through to the next round of the competition with a 1–0 victory. He was on the pitch at White Hart Lane on 17 March 2012 when Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba went into cardiac arrest; Van der Vaart later described it as "horrible to witness ... the absolute low in my football career".[57]

Return to Hamburg[edit]

Van der Vaart with Hamburg in 2013

On 31 August 2012, Van der Vaart returned to his former club, Hamburger SV.[58] He would wear his favourite 23 number on the shirt and was announced as club's vice-captain. On 16 September, he made his second debut with HSV in a match against Eintracht Frankfurt. On 22 September, Van der Vaart provided two assists against Borussia Dortmund, contributing to two crucial goals in a 3–2 win. He scored his first goal of the season in a 2–2 away draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach, later suffering a serious injury that left him out of action for several months.

Van der Vaart made his return to action on 20 January 2013 against Nürnberg in a 1–1 draw. On 9 April, he was named the club's captain, succeeding Heiko Westermann. Not having scored for almost two months, Van der Vaart scored a brace on 20 April 2013 against Fortuna Düsseldorf in a 2–1 home win. Hamburg later decided not to give van der Vaart a contract extension.[59]

Real Betis[edit]

Van der Vaart joined newly promoted Spanish club Real Betis on a free transfer in June 2015.[60] He made his debut for the club on 24 September in a 2–1 La Liga defeat to Deportivo.[61] His performance turned out to be a fiasco.[62] He finally left the club on 30 June 2016, accumulating just 296 minutes of playing time in the 2015–2016 season.[63]

FC Midtjylland[edit]

On 31 July 2016, Van der Vaart was spotted in a skybox at MCH Arena just outside Herning alongside agents Alan Hvedehave and Mikkel Beckmann, both before and during the league game between Danish Superliga clubs FC Midtjylland and Silkeborg.[64] Following the match, in a live interview with Danish Eurosport 2, Midtjylland sporting director Claus Steinlein denied any ongoing negotiations, stating that Midtjylland would not be able to live up to Van der Vaart's economic demands.[65] Just four days later, however, ahead of the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League third round qualifying match against Videoton, Steinlein confirmed that the club was in fact trying to work out a deal with him.[66]

On 10 August, Van der Vaart joined Midtjylland on a two-year deal.[67] Eighteen days later, he made his Superliga debut, as a substitute for Paul Onuachu in a 0–0 draw away to local rivals Viborg.[68] Less than a month later, in his fourth appearance for his new side, he scored his first goal in a 5–2 win at home against promoted team Horsens.[69] After coming in as a substitute in a match against Lyngby on 28 May 2017 he was selected for only one of the first team's matches until 9 February 2018 where he was on the bench in a 2–0 win against Horsens.[70] On 18 February 2018 Van der Vaart made his first appearance for the first team in the 2017–18 season coming in as a substitute in the 90th minute.[71] He told NOS, "I wasn't selected for half a year. That's why this is a celebration for me. Not playing is awful."[72]


On 4 August 2018 it was made public that Van der Vaart had signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg in the same league.[4] He had been training with them since his FC Midtjylland had ended.[73] He was presented to the fans at the Esbjerg Stadium before a league game against Randers, which ended in a 3–3 draw.[74] On 4 November, having been struggling with recurring injuries, he announced he would retire from professional football with immediate effect.[75]

On 22 August 2019 Van der Vaart confirmed, that he would play a game for Esbjerg's reserves in the ninth tier of football in Denmark.[76] Due to his relationship with handball player Estavana Polman, he was still living in Esbjerg, as she was playing for Team Esbjerg.

International career[edit]

Van der Vaart with Oranje.

Van der Vaart gained the notice of the youth team coaches and was called up for the youth squads. He played in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with present senior teammates Maarten Stekelenburg and John Heitinga and former Real Madrid teammates Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Arjen Robben.

The 18-year-old Van der Vaart then made his senior international debut against Andorra on 6 October 2001.[77] He was a member of the squads that participated in Euro 2004, Euro 2008, Euro 2012, the 2006 World Cup and the 2010 World Cup. Despite figuring prominently in a number of qualifying stage matches, Van der Vaart has had a lack of luck when it came to the final tournament. He was however, vice-captain during the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 behind Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Mark van Bommel respectively. On 15 August 2012, Van der Vaart earned his 100th cap for the Netherlands in the 2–4 loss against Belgium in a friendly match.

Van der Vaart was used to wear the number 23 or 10 jersey while playing for his country.

Euro 2004[edit]

A sub-par performance by the Dutch during their opening game of Euro 2004 persuaded then manager Dick Advocaat to change the side's formation into one which he felt the talented Van der Vaart did not fit into. With Advocaat's new system seemingly working, Van der Vaart would be reduced to play a bit-part role at Euro 2004, as Oranje reached the semi-finals.

2006 World Cup[edit]

Despite that setback, Van der Vaart produced some superlative performances in the Bundesliga the following season, and it seemed that Van der Vaart's turn to shine on the big stage was to finally come – at the 2006 World Cup. However, niggling injury problems resurfaced, and Van der Vaart was not risked by Dutch coach Marco van Basten for the opening World Cup encounter against Serbia and Montenegro. With victory in that opening game, the national team coach would once again decide to continue fielding a "Van der Vaart-less" lineup. And once again, Van der Vaart was reduced to a bit-part role in the squad although since then he has become a more regular fixture in the starting XI.

Euro 2008[edit]

Van der Vaart playing for the Netherlands

Van der Vaart was called up for Euro 2008 despite missing several qualification matches due to an ankle injury. As Van Basten had decided to change their formation to 4–2–3–1, Van der Vaart was deployed in the midfield along with Wesley Sneijder and either Dirk Kuyt or Robin van Persie, behind lone striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to great effect. In the opening game of the competition, the Dutch team won 3–0 against the world champions Italy with Van der Vaart playing a role in the build-ups. Van Basten decided to field him again in the starting line-up in the next match against France; the Oranje later went on to win 4–1.

2010 World Cup[edit]

Despite enduring a tough time at club level,[78] Van der Vaart remained a first-choice player for Van Basten's successor Bert van Marwijk in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. On 10 September 2008, he ended a ten-month goal drought with a vital strike against Macedonia in a 2–1 win.[79] He ended the campaign with 2 goals and several important assists.

On 12 August 2009, Van der Vaart captained the Dutch in the absence of Giovanni van Bronckhorst in a friendly against England. He scored the second goal off a Gareth Barry mistake to put the Netherlands two goals up in the first half but Jermain Defoe netted a brace to seal a 2–2 draw.[80]

Van der Vaart (right) with Wesley Sneijder.

Van der Vaart was in the starting line-up for the three group matches in the 2010 World Cup, against Denmark,[81][82][83] Japan[84] and Cameroon,[85] but eventually lost his spot in the starting line-up to his recently recovered fellow midfielder Arjen Robben after being substituted in the match against Cameroon.[86] He was brought off the pitch after giving away a penalty to Cameroon by blocking the ball with his arm from a free-kick.[87] However, he made another appearance in the semi-final against Uruguay, after coming on for the injured Demy de Zeeuw.[88] He helped Oranje win the match with 3–2, thus sending them to the final.[89] He also played in the final against Spain, substituting Nigel de Jong just before injury time. Netherlands lost the game 1–0 to a goal from Andrés Iniesta.[90] He was handed the captain's armband during the match, after Giovanni van Bronckhorst was substituted off.[91]

Euro 2012[edit]

Van der Vaart made his Euro 2012 debut as a sub in the first match against Denmark – a match they went on to lose. In the second match against Germany, again he was a substitute, but came on for Dutch captain Mark van Bommel and took the captain's armband. In the second half he created more attacking chances, which led to a goal, but they again lost the match. In the final group match against Portugal, Van der Vaart started as captain, and scored a goal that gave the Netherlands a glimmer of hope to get out of the group. However, two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a 2–1 win and knocked out the Netherlands.

2014 World Cup[edit]

Van der Vaart was named in Louis van Gaal's provisional 30-man squad for the 2014 World Cup, but withdrew on 28 May, three days before the final squad was named, due to a calf injury that he suffered in training.[92]

Personal life[edit]

On 10 June 2005, Van der Vaart married Sylvie Meis and on 28 May 2006, their son Damián Rafael was born. Some of the media have described the couple as the "new Beckhams" but both of them denied the claims saying that they prefer to just live a normal life.[93]

In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid wanted to sell Van der Vaart, but the player decided to stay in Madrid because his wife was undergoing cancer treatment there.[94] A year later, upon his move to England, Van der Vaart stated, "She had a very serious illness and it is true that she had to be treated at the Clinica Quiron. Last season, they wanted me to leave but I couldn't leave for that reason. Now she is well and the only thing that happened was that Madrid wanted to sell and I wanted to get back to enjoying playing football, and Tottenham are a great team that are going to give me the football opportunities that I need."[94]

In 2010, Van der Vaart found out through emails that his wife was having an affair with a KLM airline pilot.[95] On New Year's Eve 2012, Van der Vaart and his wife separated. Their son Damián signed for the youth team of Ajax in September 2023. [96]

Since August 2016, Van der Vaart has been in a relationship with Dutch handball player Estavana Polman[97] who played for Danish club Team Esbjerg. This was the main reason he moved to Denmark and chose to play for Midtjylland. On 27 December 2016, they announced that they were expecting a child.[98] Their daughter Jesslynn was born in June 2017.[99]

Coaching career[edit]

On 10 August 2021, Van der Vaart was hired in his first coaching role as an assistant coach to Peter Hyballa at his former club Esbjerg.[100] Van der Vaart had lived in Esbjerg for the past five years due to his relationship with handball player Estavana Polman, who was playing for Team Esbjerg.[101] On 27 January 2023 the club confirmed, that Van der Vaart's contract had been terminated by mutual agreement.[102]

Darts career[edit]

In April 2019, Van der Vaart began a professional darts career, joining the British Darts Organisation.[103] On 4 May, Van der Vaart made his debut at the Denmark Open, winning his first round match 4–2 against Thomas Anderson before being knocked out in the second round 4–0 by Mogens Christensen.[104]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 1 November 2018.[105][106][107]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other[108] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ajax 1999–2000 Eredivisie 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2000–01 Eredivisie 27 7 1 0 4 2 32 9
2001–02 Eredivisie 20 14 2 2 5 1 27 17
2002–03 Eredivisie 21 18 2 0 6 2 1 2 30 22
2003–04 Eredivisie 26 7 1 0 7 1 34 8
2004–05 Eredivisie 22 6 2 0 7 1 1 0 32 7
Total 117 52 8 2 29 7 2 2 156 63
Hamburger SV 2005–06 Bundesliga 19 9 2 0 8 5 7 2 36 16
2006–07 Bundesliga 26 8 0 0 2 0 5 3 33 11
2007–08 Bundesliga 29 12 4 4 9 3 2 2 44 21
Total 74 29 6 4 2 0 22 11 9 4 113 48
Real Madrid 2008–09 La Liga 32 5 1 0 7 0 2 0 42 5
2009–10 La Liga 26 6 2 1 3 0 31 7
Total 58 11 3 1 10 0 2 0 73 12
Tottenham Hotspur 2010–11 Premier League 28 13 1 0 0 0 7 2 36 15
2011–12 Premier League 33 11 4 1 1 0 1 1 39 13
2012–13 Premier League 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 63 24 5 1 1 0 8 3 77 28
Hamburger SV 2012–13 Bundesliga 27 5 0 0 27 5
2013–14 Bundesliga 27 7 3 1 2 0 32 8
2014–15 Bundesliga 24 4 2 1 1 0 27 5
Total 78 16 5 2 3 0 86 18
Real Betis 2015–16 La Liga 7 0 2 0 9 0
Midtjylland 2016–17 Danish Superliga 15 2 2 0 1 0 18 2
2017–18 Danish Superliga 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 17 2 2 0 1 0 20 2
Esbjerg 2018–19 Danish Superliga 3 0 1 0 4 0
Career total 417 135 32 10 3 0 70 21 16 6 538 171


Appearances and goals by national team and year[109]

Team Year Apps Goals
Netherlands 2001 1 0
2002 2 0
2003 10 3
2004 13 1
2005 9 2
2006 5 1
2007 10 5
2008 14 1
2009 10 2
2010 14 1
2011 5 1
2012 10 4
2013 6 4
Total 109 25

Scores and results list the Netherlands's goal tally first. Score column indicates score after each van der Vaart goal.[110]

Rafael van der Vaart – goals for the Netherlands
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 September 2003 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Austria 1–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 qualification
2. 10 September 2003 Toyota Arena, Prague, Czech Republic  Czech Republic 1–2 1–3 UEFA Euro 2004 qualification
3. 11 October 2003 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands  Moldova 4–0 5–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualification
4. 1 June 2004 Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland  Faroe Islands 1–0 3–0 Friendly
5. 7 September 2005 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands  Andorra 1–0 4–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 8 October 2005 Toyota Arena, Prague, Czech Republic  Czech Republic 1–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 15 November 2006 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  England 1–1 1–1 Friendly
8. 7 February 2007 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Russia 4–1 4–1 Friendly
9. 2 June 2007 Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea  South Korea 1–0 2–0 Friendly
10. 2–0
11. 6 June 2007 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 1–0 3–1 Friendly
12. 21 November 2007 Dinamo Stadium, Minsk, Belarus  Belarus 1–2 1–2 UEFA Euro 2008 qualification
13. 10 September 2008 Philip II Arena, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia  North Macedonia 2–0 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
14. 1 April 2009 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  North Macedonia 4–0 4–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
15. 12 August 2009 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  England 2–0 2–2 Friendly
16. 1 June 2010 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Ghana 2–0 4–1 Friendly
17. 25 March 2011 Ferenc Puskás Stadium, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 1–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualification
18. 30 May 2012 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Slovakia 1–0 2–0 Friendly
19. 17 June 2012 Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine  Portugal 1–0 1–2 UEFA Euro 2012
20. 12 October 2012 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Andorra 1–0 3–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
21. 16 October 2012 Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania  Romania 3–1 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
22. 22 March 2013 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Estonia 1–0 3–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
23. 26 March 2013 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Romania 1–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
24. 11 October 2013 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Hungary 7–1 8–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
25. 16 November 2013 Cristal Arena, Genk, Belgium  Japan 1–0 2–2 Friendly


As of match played 30 June 2022
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Esbjerg (interim) Denmark 9 March 2022 30 June 2022 6 0 4 2 5 8 −3 000.00
Career total 6 0 4 2 5 8 −3 000.00


Van der Vaart won the Spanish Super Cup while at Real Madrid
Posters farewell match Rafael van der Vaart at football club Hamburger SV. Hamburg


Hamburger SV[111]

Real Madrid[111]

FC Midtjylland[111]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Acta del Partido celebrado el 08 de mayo de 2016, en Eibar" [Minutes of the Match held on 8 May 2016, in Eibar] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ "R. van der Vaart" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Spielerprofil – Rafael van der Vaart" (in German). Hamburger SV. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Rafael van der Vaart interim-trainer bij Deense club Esbjerg". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). 12 March 2022. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  5. ^ Lozano, Andrós (21 June 2015). "Rafael Van der Vaart vuelve a tierras gaditanas, su segundo hogar". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart verloochent zijn afkomst niet". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). 21 June 2006.
  7. ^ a b Silver, Dan (1 September 2010). "10 things you need to know about Rafael van der Vaart". Mirror Football. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  8. ^ Van der Vaart: I can help Spurs overtake Arsenal this season "Mirror Football", 9 September 2010
  9. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart refuses to play the envy game with Wesley Sneijder". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart looking for silverware at Tottenham to end his personal drought". The People. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Van der Vaart voted 'European Talent of the Year'". Ajax USA. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  12. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (11 September 2019). "Rafael van der Vaart - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  13. ^ Hughes, Rob (9 June 2004). "Emerging Dutch master" (reprint hosted by NewsBank). The Straits Times. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 'Before the winter break in Holland,' he admits, 'my performances were terrible. Some of it was caused by my being overweight, and a lot of critics said my relationship with Sylvie Meis was the cause of my dip in form.' Sylvie Meis is the Dutch television celebrity who turns the heads of many a young man. The stories about her leading Rafael astray are, he claims, over the top. 'People said because of her I wasn't focused on football and went to too many parties,' he says.
  14. ^ Player profile: Rafaël van der Vaart Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Footy Mania
  15. ^ O'Rourke, Peter (9 December 2004). "Ajax strip van of captaincy". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  16. ^ Ajax agrees to transfer midfielder Van der Vaart to Hamburg People's Daily, 1 June 2005
  17. ^ Whatever happened to Rafael van der Vaart? – BBC Sport, 7 December 2005
  18. ^ Rafael van der Vaart is £20m Chelsea target[dead link] The Daily Telegraph, 16 October 2007
  19. ^ Koeman wants Van der Vaart Sky Sports, 21 November 2007
  20. ^ Van der Vaart turns down new deal Sporting Life, 5 January 2008
  21. ^ "Real Madrid make 'almost certainly' their last signing of the summer". Mirror. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  22. ^ Atletico make Van der Vaart bid FIFA, 9 July 2008
  23. ^ "Real Madrid and Hamburg reach an agreement for the transfer of the Dutch midfielder". Real Madrid. 4 August 2008. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  24. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart completes deal with Real Madrid". Real Madrid. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  25. ^ "Van der Vaart's scores in debut". Real Madrid. 8 August 2008. Archived from the original on 11 August 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  26. ^ "Official shirt numbers – Sneijder switches to '10' and Van der Vaart takes over '23'". Real Madrid. 3 September 2008. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
  27. ^ "Real Madrid 7–1 Sporting Gijon". Real Madrid. 24 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  28. ^ Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or Sky Sports, 2 December 2008
  29. ^ Van der Vaart denies Chelsea talk FIFA, 30 March 2009
  30. ^ "Pellegrini calls up 18 players". Real Madrid. 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
  31. ^ Van loving Real life Sky Sports, 21 December 2009
  32. ^ Redknapp hopeful on Rafael Sky Sports, 1 September 2010
  33. ^ a b Spurs given permission to sign Van der Vaart ESPN Soccernet, 1 September 2010
  34. ^ Miguel Pardeza: "It is absolutely false that Real Madrid received a 21 million euro offer from Bayern Munich for Van der Vaart" Archived 4 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine Real Madrid, 1 September 2010
  35. ^ Spurs hit Van der Vaart hitch Sky Sports, 1 September 2010
  36. ^ "Football News - all the latest breaking football stories - Mirror Online".
  37. ^ Tottenham clinch £8m Rafael Van der Vaart deal BBC Sport, 1 September 2010
  38. ^ "Van der Vaart deal confirmed". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  39. ^ Squad update Tottenham Hotspur F.C., 2 September 2010
  40. ^ Van der Vaart denies failing in Madrid ESPN Soccernet, 2 September 2010
  41. ^ Rafael – I'm no Real reject Sky Sports, 2 September 2010
  42. ^ West Brom earn deserved point against rattled Tottenham The Guardian, 11 September 2010
  43. ^ Werder Bremen 2–2 Tottenham BBC Sport, 14 September 2010
  44. ^ United, Tottenham both held ESPN Soccernet, 14 September 2010
  45. ^ Tottenham 3–1 Wolverhampton BBC Sport, 18 September 2010
  46. ^ Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Spurs strike late ESPN Soccernet, 18 September 2010
  47. ^ Mondal, Subhankar (4 October 2010). "Goal.com World Player of the Week: Rafael van der Vaart – Tottenham". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  48. ^ "Moyes & Van der Vaart win Premier League awards". BBC Sport. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  49. ^ "Tottenham boost as Van der Vaart ready to return". talkSPORT. 21 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  50. ^ McNulty, Phil (26 December 2010). "Aston Villa 1–2 Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  51. ^ "Premier League Combined Goals & Assists 2010–11". Myfootballfacts.com.
  52. ^ Wigan 1–2 Tottenham BBC Sport, 24 September 2011
  53. ^ Tottenham 2–1 Arsenal BBC Sport, 2 October 2011
  54. ^ Blackburn 1–2 Tottenham BBC Sport, 23 October 2011
  55. ^ "Happy Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart going nowhere". ESPN.co.uk. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  56. ^ "Swansea 1–1 Tottenham" BBC Sport. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  57. ^ "Fabrice Muamba collapsing left players panicking, it was horrifying to watch, says Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 March 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  58. ^ "VDV heading back to Hamburg". Sky Sports. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  59. ^ Hellmann, Frank (28 March 2015). "Fußtritt zum Abschied". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  60. ^ Greaves, Russell (16 June 2015). "'It's a dream' - Van der Vaart joins Betis". Goal. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  61. ^ Pisani, Sacha (24 September 2015). "Real Betis 1-2 Deportivo La Coruna: Van der Vaart debut not enough for hosts". Goal. Retrieved 11 February 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  62. ^ Van der Vaart, end of the great Betis fiasco
  63. ^ Van der Vaart is finally no longer a problem for Betis
  64. ^ "FCM-reserver udspillede Silkeborg".
  65. ^ "Steinlein: FCM har ikke råd til Van der Vaart".
  66. ^ "FC Midtjylland og van der Vaart er stadig i dialog!".
  67. ^ "van der Vaart på plads i FCM". Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  68. ^ "danskfodbold.com - DBU's Officielle Statistikere".
  69. ^ "danskfodbold.com - DBU's Officielle Statistikere".
  70. ^ "danskfodbold.com - DBU's Officielle Statistikere". danskfodbold.com.
  71. ^ "danskfodbold.com - DBU's Officielle Statistikere". danskfodbold.com.
  72. ^ "Van der Vaart na half jaar weer bij selectie: wil lekker voetballen". nos.nl.
  73. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart om Esbjerg: Ikke mange penge at gøre godt med". Tipsbladet.dk. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  74. ^ "Esbjerg fB - Randers FC". Superliga (in Danish). 5 June 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  75. ^ "Van der Vaart zet per direct punt achter carrière". De Telegraaf. 4 November 2018.
  76. ^ Rafael van der Vaart tager en tørn i Serie 4, bold.dk, 22 August 2019
  77. ^ "Fact file". Van der Vaart Official. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  78. ^ Battler Van der Vaart out of Real shadows AFP, 4 July 2010
  79. ^ Dutch start with victory in Macedonia FIFA
  80. ^ Smyth, Rob (12 August 2009). "Holland vs England – as it happened". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  81. ^ "Netherlands-Denmark". FIFA. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  82. ^ Van Bronckhorst Calls for More of the Same Four Four Two, 16 June 2010
  83. ^ Double Dutch Sinks Denmark Four Four Two, 15 June 2010
  84. ^ Netherlands and Japan name unchanged teams USA Today, 19 June 2010
  85. ^ "Soccer: Netherlands beat Cameroon for Slovakia showdown". The New Zealand Herald. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  86. ^ Robben makes first start for Dutch Reuters, 28 June 2010
  87. ^ Van Persie scores as Dutch win and top Group F Sify News, 25 June 2010
  88. ^ Holanda acaba con Uruguay en semifinales al ritmo de Sneijder y Robben (2–3) (In Spanish) 20 Minutos, 6 July 2010
  89. ^ Dutch reach World Cup final after 3–2 defeat of Uruguay Sify News, 7 July 2010
  90. ^ Netherlands 0–1 Spain (aet) BBC Sport, 11 July 2010
  91. ^ For Dutch Captain, a Long Career Closes The New York Times, 11 July 2010
  92. ^ "World Cup 2014: Rafael van der Vaart out of tournament with injury". BBC Sport. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  93. ^ Sylvie and Rafael Van der Vaart Official
  94. ^ a b "Wife's Cancer Kept Van Der Vaart in Madrid". Australian FourFourTwo. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  95. ^ "FOOTYBLAST – Van Der Vaart Divorce Drama Continues".
  96. ^ "Ajax sign Rafael Van Der Vaart's Teenage Son Damian on One Year Deal".
  97. ^ "Derfor er Rafael van der Vaart i Esbjerg".
  98. ^ "Estavana Polman and Rafael van der Vaart expected child | News" Archived 28 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. hoholok.com.
  99. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart präsentiert der Welt sein Baby" (german). abendblatt.de.
  100. ^ EfB tilknytter Rafael van der Vaart, efb.dk, 10 August 2021
  101. ^ Hollandsk stjerne bliver to år mere i Esbjerg, tvsyd.dk, 16 January 2021
  102. ^ EfB og van der Vaart går hver til sit, efb.dk, 27 January 2023
  103. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart: Former Tottenham midfielder to make darts debut". BBC Sport. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  104. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart wins first-ever professional darts match at Denmark Open". espn.co.uk. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  105. ^ "Football: Rafael van de Vaart". FootballDatabase.eu. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  106. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart.:. Club matches". WorldFootball.net. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  107. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart". The Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  108. ^ Includes the Johan Cruyff Shield, Supercopa de España, UEFA Intertoto Cup and Bundesliga relegation play-offs
  109. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  110. ^ Stokkermans, Karel (11 September 2019). "Rafael van der Vaart - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  111. ^ a b c d e "Rafael van der Vaart - Career Honours". Soccerway.
  112. ^ "Rafael van der Vaart: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 28 September 2018.

External links[edit]