Van Der Vaart reveals major change Tottenham have made v Real Madrid
By Russell Edge
Former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart has said that the club have 11 marquee players in their starting line up compared with just five when he was playing.
The Dutch midfielder, who currently plies his trade with Danish side FC Midtjylland, spent two years at Spurs after joining from Spanish giants Real Madrid, leaving to join German side Hamburg in 2012.
He was a part of the Tottenham side which reached the Champions League quarter finals back in 2011, beating Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan, only to see themselves dumped out 5-0 on aggregate to his former side Real.
The two sides will meet again for the first time since their last-eight clash on Tuesday, with both sides vying to top their Champions League group.
However, while Spurs impressed with the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, both now on Real Madrid’s books, back in 2011, van der Vaart insists the North London side have more top players now.
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Speaking to Press Association Sport, as reported by ITV on their website, the 34-year-old said: “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.”
One such star player is striker Harry Kane, who has been a revelation since breaking into the first team at Spurs, scoring over 20 league goals in each of his last three seasons.
With two successive Premier League golden boot awards under his belt and nine goals in 10 appearances this season, the 24-year-old has been linked with a move away from Spurs, with Real Madrid named as potential suitors.
However van der Vaart believes Kane will want to be part of a Tottenham side which aims to compete at the highest level, with a new stadium set to be completed for next season.
“When I see Harry Kane now at Tottenham, the club also want to be bigger and bigger, winning the league, the Champions League, with a new stadium,” he told Press Association Sport via ITV.
“There is so much to play for. I hope he will stay. Real Madrid of course is something special but Spurs are special to him too.”
Spurs come into Tuesday’s clash off the back of a 1-0 home win over Bournemouth on Saturday, with Christian Eriksen’s strike securing the club’s first league win at Wembley.
In other Tottenham news, one star man is looking to triple his wages as contract talks open.