Van der Vaart: Premier League best in world

Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael van der Vaart, who joined the White Hart Lane outfit in a last-gasp transfer move last summer, has spoken of his joy at having the opportunity to play in “the best league in the world.”

The 27-year-old Dutchman has been at the centre of Spurs’ excellent form this campaign and he appears to have settled in well with Harry Redknapp’s team.

After playing in La Liga for Real Madrid, Van der Vaart believes there is huge a gulf in the style of play between the English and Spanish leagues.

But, despite the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona playing extremely attractive football, Spurs’ No. 11 is of the firm belief that the Premier League is the stronger of the two overall.

“I think the speed of the game is higher [in the Premier League] because it’s really hard, physical. In Spain they try to play more like good football, so I think that’s the main difference,” he told Absolute Radio.

“I think the Premier League is the best league in the world, so its normal that everybody is watching the games, and I think its also normal because it’s a really big league, a lot of good players, good teams, so it’s the best league.”

Brazilian legend Romario, who spent the majority of his career plying his trade in Van der Vaart’s native country at PSV Eindhoven, was a huge icon to the attacking midfielder as a youngster.

“Romario was always my idol, I don’t really know why but he was playing for PSV, and I was supporting Ajax but I liked his style of playing and he made a lot of goals.”

Since his surprise arrival at White Hart Lane, the Dutchman has scored 11 goals in 20 appearances, while also providing a number of assists for his fellow team-mates.

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By Elliott Binks