Rafael eyes Real revenge
Rafael van der Vaart is determined to show Real Madrid what they are missing when Spurs visit the Bernabeu.
Last Updated: 20/03/11 11:35am
Rafael van der Vaart is determined to show Real Madrid what they are missing when Tottenham travel to the Bernabeu next month.
Spurs will be looking to pull off another European shock after already overcoming AC Milan and Inter Milan in their run to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
And 28-year-old Dutch forward Van der Vaart also has a personal point to prove after being sold to the North Londoners by Real last summer.
"I'm so motivated to go and play there in the Bernabeu. It is a massive match for me," Van der Vaart said in the Sunday Mirror.
"The pressure is not on us, but on Real. I played 68 games for Real Madrid and scored 13 goals there. I know the club, I know the players and the team.
"We have a chance to get to the semi-final. I know that for sure, because they won't like it that we will stick to our own style and play the way we like.'"
Van der Vaart admits he felt driven out by Primera Liga giants Real, revealing he was forced out of the squad and at one stage made to train on his own.
But the Dutchman says he battled hard to remain with the club, adding: "It was a hell of a fight.
"At one point I was training on my own on a separate training pitch at the back of the complex.
"But I knew with the quality of my game I would come back on top and I would show them I deserved a place in the team.
"I just knew I was good enough to play for Real. That is why I was never scared to battle.
"Plenty of people thought I was crazy. And of course it was hard when I was not allowed to train with the rest of team."
While Van der Vaart was initially reluctant to leave Madrid, he feels his Tottenham move has been a blessing in disguise.
He said: "They said to me one week before the transfer deadline: 'It is better that you go, because this season you will not get as many chances'.
"I laughed and said: 'I will fight my way back into the team again'. But a day later they put me in the stand, not even on the bench. The message was clear.
"But I became a better player there. In every way, Tottenham have a much stronger player now."