Van der Vaart: I’m the same player

Rafael van der Vaart insists he has plenty to offer after being presented as a Real Betis player. ‘I’m the same as I was at Real Madrid.’

Van der Vaart joins Betis on a free transfer from Hamburg, having been voted among the worst players in the Bundesliga last season by Kicker magazine.

The midfielder insists that isn’t something that bothers him as he has faith in his ability, and is eager to get going at Benito Villamarin, the event having taken place with his grandmother among the observers.

“This is an amazing club, like a family and I want to fight for it. I’m happy. Betis is a great club and I’m happy to come to the best League in the world,” he said, AS reports.

“I had two bad years at Hamburg but I think I’m still a good player. I want to play football and I want to have the ball. I don’t care about the survey.

“What project was I offered to come here? To win the League! The most important thing is that people are happy because we play good football.

“When the club was bottom of the Segunda there were still 40,000 fans, I saw on YouTube, and that means a lot to the club. This is a big step in my career.

“I’m a different player from when I was at Madrid, with more experience because it was seven years ago, but of course I’m basically the same player.

“I’m still in contact with people from Madrid, with Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.

“I have great ambition. In football one day you’re king and another day you’re not. I want to return to the Dutch team. Spain is very important and I’m only 32.

“[Being near his grandfather, who lives in Chiclana] isn’t the most important thing but it’s nice for him. He likes football, and my grandmother is always happy.”

Tags Rafael van der Vaart