Van der Vaart loving life at Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has credited the North London club for re-igniting his love for football and has expressed his desire to remain at White Hart Lane for the long-term.

The Dutch international has made a blistering start to the season with Spurs since his £8 million transfer from Spanish giants Real Madrid last summer, netting 11 times in 19 games, and has quickly become a fan favourite following a series of man-of-the-match performances.

This kind of form is a far cry from the two years Van der Vaart spent in Madrid, where he was often restricted to substitute appearances, and the Dutchman is happy that period of his life is over.

"After my time at Real Madrid, which was not a very happy one, I have rediscovered my love for the game at Tottenham," Van der Vaart told Sport Bild magazine.

"My heart is now at Tottenham. It is not a huge club but rather a real traditional club, like I have already learned to love at Hamburg or Ajax."

The 27-year-old is well travelled in footballing terms despite his relative youth, having played in Holland, Germany, Spain and now England, but Van der Vaart insists that he and his family would like nothing more than to settle down in North London with Harry Redknapp's side.

"The changes should now come to an end," he continued. "Also for my family. My son speaks four languages by now. That's enough.

"I feel settled in London and would like to play here for many years."

By Liam Twomey