By 90Min
October 17, 2017

Former Real Madrid and Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart has claimed Mauricio Pochettino's men have what it takes to beat the reigning European champions.

After two years of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu for Madrid, the Dutch veteran moved to Tottenham in August 2010 and went onto play another two seasons in England. 

He was a fan favourite at Tottenham as he led the team through a very successful spell for the club, which included a quarter-final run in the Champions League.

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

That quarter-final run came to an end against his former employers Real Madrid. After a bright opening 10 minutes from the London side, Peter Crouch was sent off for a late challenge on Marcelo after 14 minutes, meaning Van der Vaart was made a lone-striker in a tactical reshuffle from Harry Redknapp.


Van der Vaart had a poor game, being booked and substituted at half-time for Jermain Defoe, and speaking to the Evening Standard, the Dutchman reflected on what was a disappointing night for both him and his side. He said: "I was angry after, of course, in the changing room to be honest I found it difficult to speak.

"It all turned on that red card. We had started so well in the Champions League, it was really something special that year. It was a hard one to take."

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Tottenham went onto lose the second leg 1-0 and were dumped out of the competition after a memorable run against Europe's top clubs. 

However, speaking ahead of the clash between the sides at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, Van der Vaart has claimed Tottenham will have a much better chance of beating the reigning European champions this time around with their current squad.

He added: "We had four or five stand-out players you come to the stadium to watch but now with Tottenham you come for the whole team.

"They need to use that against Madrid because this is the biggest difference now and also their biggest strength. They are a fantastic team."

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

The Dutchman - now 34 - currently plays his football for FC Midtjylland, however he will always be remembered as one of Tottenham's finest players during a very successful spell for the club. 


Meanwhile, Tottenham continue their preparations ahead of their trip to the Bernabeu, and after winning their first two group games against APOEL and Borussia Dortmund, Spurs will be full of confidence heading into their biggest game of their season so far.

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