Rafael van der Vaart cannot stay out of the headlines in Germany at the moment, and usually not for achievements on the pitch.
When Tottenham sold Rafael van der Vaart last summer to Hamburg SV it was something of a surprise considering his obvious mercurial talents. Something of a cult hero at the club for his innate footballing ability he had also been a controversial figure at times with the club.
In 2011 he clashed with Harry Redknapp over being played out on the wing rather than his preferred and more suitable position in the hole behind the striker.
Redknapp afterwards exclaimed:
‘’Yes, it does seem to be a problem. Rafa can't run back and chase the full-back. Against the better teams it is a problem … Rafa is a terrific footballer. He has great skill. But if you're in the team and asked to do a job, really, you should just do it.’’
Indeed his life at the moment has been something of a mini soap opera. After a highly publicised and acrimonious break-up from his ex-wife and the start of a relationship with Sabia Boulharouz, former wife of ex-Chelsea star Khalid his life has been like one long episode of Eastenders in recent months.
So it is no surprise to discover he got in a slanging match with his director of football Oliver Kreuzer yesterday afternoon.
It came as Hamburg, RVDV’s current club, sacked manager Thorsten Fink after a difficult start to the new season. It was reported that after being told of the news at the session that the two got into a very heated and loud argument in front of staff and players.
Kreuzer, a new appointment this summer, has been something of a controversial figure since arriving - and it is clear him and the Dutch international have some differences of opinion.
Van der Vaart was popular with Fink, and vice-versa, so he was always going to be upset at his forced departure from the Imtech Arena - but with the club 15th in the Bundesliga on just one win from five games you can understand the decision.
But the ordeal seems to be behind them, with Kreuzer stating:
"We talked for 20 minutes… He said he was acting out of emotion. I've accepted that. For both of us it's done. We have declared ourselves. Everything is good.’’
Nice to know that RVDV hasn’t lost any of the natural pluck that made him so popular at White Hart Lane.
image: © Jan S0L0