The new life of Rafael van der Vaart: from the Andalusian First Division to the world of darts
The life of Rafael van der Vaart has taken many twists and turns in recent times. Used to being a star player for the world's top clubs, his career plummetted after signing for Betis. He did not fit in at all in Seville, and his subsequent signigns for Midtjylland and Esbjerg, the club at which he retired, did not make for an ending worthy of his previous career path.
"I just have to stop now,. I’m not here to rehabilitate, but to play football," he said.
"I wanted to become a true veteran of this sport, but it wasn't to be, unfortuneately", he said to 'De Telegraaf' on the day he announced his retirement.
After hanging up his boots, van der Vaart has worked as a commentator on television and, as has been seen in some of the media, he has not strayed far from the world of football. Neither has he lost the desire to play. As well as taking part in a game that celebrated the opening of Tottenham's new stadium, he has also competed in the Andalusian First Division.
The left-footed former midfielder took part in a game for Chiclana Industrial, a team from a town near Cádiz where he has family living. In fact, he is often seen in and around the area during some parts of the year.
Perhaps more surprising was the revelation that he will take part in the upcoming Danish Open in darts together with his brother Fernando. Van de Vaart is a huge darts fan and he will participate in the tournament on the 4th and 5th of May.