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Rafael van der Vaart

Published: Wednesday 1 December 2010, 11.25CET
Hamburger SV

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Published: Wednesday 1 December 2010, 11.25CET

Rafael van der Vaart

Hamburger SV

Clubs: AFC Ajax, Hamburger SV, Real Madrid CF, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Hamburger SV

• A graduate of Ajax's famed youth system, Van der Vaart made his first-team debut at 17, against FC Den Bosch in April 2000.

• Made his national team debut at 18 − against Andorra − during a brilliant first half of Ajax's 2001/02 title-winning season when he led the Eredivisie charts with 14 goals in 20 games; however, a right knee injury ended his campaign prematurely.

• The left-footed playmaker returned with 18 Eredivisie goals in 2002/03 and found the net on his UEFA Champions League debut against Olympique Lyonnais; was less prominent as Ajax regained the title in 2003/04 but was named club captain for the following campaign, his last before joining Hamburg.

• Scored in three successive UEFA EURO 2004 qualifiers but was out of form at the finals; it was a similar story at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he was not fully fit after an injury-wrecked debut Bundesliga campaign (though he still managed nine league goals and five in the UEFA Cup).

• Came good for the Oranje at UEFA EURO 2008 prior to leaving Hamburg for Madrid, where he was often a substitute in his debut campaign; made five appearances at the 2010 World Cup, coming on as a substitute in the final against Spain.

• After failing to cement his place in the Madrid side, he signed for Tottenham in an €11m move on 1 September 2010 and finished that season as the north London club's 13-goal top scorer in the Premier League.

• Made his 100th appearance for the Netherlands in a friendly against Belgium on 15 August 2012, a couple of weeks before he rejoined Hamburg. 

Last updated: 08/12/13 7.12CET

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