Former Ajax star Rafael van der Vaart says double nutmeg on Jack Wilshere was a Tottenham highlight
Rafael van der Vaart may have only spent two seasons with Tottenham, but in that time he quickly became a fan favourite.
His technique and ability to embarrass Arsenal only endeared himself to the Spurs faithful.
The Dutchman, who played 63 times in the Premier League between 2010 and 2012, had a tendency to find the net in north London derbies, scoring five times in four matches against rivals Arsenal.
And it’s the 3-3 draw against Arsenal in April 2011 he considers to be one of his most memorable games during his time in north London.
In that match, Van der Vaart levelled for Spurs after Theo Walcott had fired the Gunners ahead in the fifth minute.
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Tottenham had fallen 3-1 behind, but the former Ajax star helped lead the comeback, holding his nerve to equalise from the penalty spot. However, it is another moment from that game he remembers fondly.
“I scored twice,” Van der Vaart said, when recalling the match to the Daily Mail ahead of the Champions League semi-final between his previous clubs.
“But one of the best thing was to put the ball between Jack Wilshere’s legs two times. We had so much fun these years and that was the best thing for me.”
Wilshere is a player Spurs fans love to hate, and his humiliation of the midfielder is something fans still ask him about.
Asked if he said anything to him during the game, Van der Vaart told FourFourTwo: “I don’t remember him saying anything to me. All I remember is what I said to him afterwards: ‘Close your legs next time!’”
Wilshere spent seven more seasons at the Emirates, before joining West Ham in July 2018.
Van der Vaart, meanwhile, will be a keen observer of Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final clash between Spurs and Ajax, having begun his career with the Dutch giants and spending five seasons with them.
He joined the Dutch giants when he was 10 and eventually made his first team debut seven years later, scoring 63 goals in 156 games before leaving for Hamburg in 2005.
Source: SportsLatest TS