Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rafael van der Vaart

It's official, Rafael van der Vaart is leaving Ajax and going to Hamburg SV in Germany. It's a weird club to go (only 8th in the German Bundesliga) but it looks like he's happy so all the best of luck for him.

Raffie played at Ajax since he was 10 years old. Seven years later, in 2000, he debuted in the senior team. A year later he made his first international appearance and he quickly became one of the most influential players at Ajax. He attracted lots of interest from other clubs but he was reserving himself for Barcelona. When he made his debut, he was still living in a trailer with his parents. But now he's one of the best paid players of Ajax.

Only last year he started having problems. He was suffering a form-crisis, he had problems with the then trainer, Ronald Koeman. And him and his girlfriend became the Dutch equivalent of Posh & Becks. After one particular game Koeman stripped him from his captaincy and at that moment I was sure that Raffie is about to leave.

Koeman left and Blind came in, but even under Blind Raffie didn't play much. And when he did play he lost some of his magic. I remember seeing Ajax play at the Arena against RKC in 2003. He made a superb backheel pass to play Mitea free, the kind of pass that only a handful of players in the world could do.

I just want to wish him the best of luck with his career. Hopefully we'll see him in Ajax colours again one day. Good luck Raffie!


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