He’s come through Ajax’s youth system, he captained Ajax as well as Hamburger SV, he played in the Premier League for the Spurs and even got the privilege to wear the Real Madrid shirt a number of times. Now though, Rafael Van der Vaart is playing in Denmark. And it seems he found the right place.
The town of Herning, where FC Midtjylland play their home games, has nearly 50 thousand citizens, 11 thousand of which can fill up the stadium on home games. That would seem as quite the drop for a player who used to play at the Amsterdam ArenA or San Bernabeu. Van der Vaart doesn’t seem to mind.
“I used to play in front of 50 thousand people, there was chaos around the stadium. Here, you play for a few thousand guys,” he says. Van der Vaart praises the peace and quiet that he has been enjoying in the town, but he doesn’t have low expectations for his time with the 2015 Danish champions. “I want to play European football again, be a champion again,” he claims.
It seems that the love is mutual, as Midtjylland’s store manager confirms that most of the merchandise sold at the shop comes with the name or likeness of the former Ajax playmaker. Rafael already got off the mark for his new team and hopes that at 33 years of age, he can show the world that he still has the skills to play with the best of them.