VDV thrilled to face Madrid
Rafael van der Vaart has admitted Real Madrid was the draw he wanted after they were paired with Spurs.
Last Updated: 18/03/11 4:05pm
Rafael van der Vaart has admitted Real Madrid was the draw he wanted after they were paired with Tottenham in the Champions League.
The Dutch midfielder endured a difficult two years in the Spanish capital with Real where he never managed to display the full range of his captivating talents.
However, at White Hart Lane, the former Ajax starlet has been an instant hit since joining the club on deadline day in August.
Tottenham now travel to Madrid to play the first leg of their quarter-final on 5th April and Van der Vaart is promising his team-mates they will have an experience of a lifetime.
"I was happy when the draw was made," he told the club's official website.
"I had hoped this would happen because it will be fantastic to go back to Madrid.
"I have a lot of friends there and it will be great to see them all. It's a big game, first leg away which is good for us, so I'm happy.
"For me, it's the biggest club in the world. Of course Barcelona are the best team in the world at this moment, but you can feel the history and how big the club is when you arrive at the stadium.
"The Bernabeu is fantastic. It's a great pitch, the stadium holds 90,000 and it's a fantastic feeling to play there. I played there for two years and had a great time there, so it's a dream to be going back."
This is Tottenham's maiden campaign in the Champions League and their progress in the competition this year has raised their profile throughout Europe.
However, for the nine-time winners Real Madrid, success is expected. Jose Mourinho may have won the competition with Porto and Inter, but at Madrid it is expected, in fact demanded.
This is a factor Van der Vaart believes could work in Tottenham's favour.
He added: "We don't have pressure, we can play our game and we have a chance I'm sure."