Rafael van der Vaart ruled out of World Cup with calf injury

Rafael van der Vaart of Hamburg SV will not be fit for the World Cup in Brazil.

Rafael van der Vaart was one of the first players sold by Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham Hotspur as the Dutchman’s mercurial style did not fit in with the AVB philosophy.

However, when Harry Redknapp was in charge, RVDV became something of a cult hero at White Hart Lane. His enigmatic presence on the football pitch would always ally himself to the fans - and the passion in which he played the game was also a joy to behold.

But the bargain buy from Real Madrid was simply not the Portuguese’s cup of tea - and was allowed to re-join former team Hamburg SV in the summer of 2012.

This campaign has been tough on the player. He has had to deal with personal tragedies off the pitch whilst playing for a team on it, who came desperately close to suffering relegation to the second tier of German football for the first time in their history.

Not to mention the fact he had to deal with injuries, again.

But the end game was always the World Cup this summer. With the Dutch national team he has always punched above his weight and he is a player the fans, and Manchester United bound Louis van Gaal, would have been counting on this summer.

Unfortunately he will not be heading to Brazil.

The playmaker has suffered a calf injury in training yesterday, and as a result will not participate at the World Cup this summer.

It is the latest injury problem to strike Holland before the tournament. Right back Gregory van der Wiel is out as is Kevin Strootman - while Paul Verhaegh looks unlikely to return from an ankle problem in time.

But for Van Der Vaart it will be a body blow. This was likely his last chance to represent his country at a major tournament and the expectation now is that he will announce his retirement from international football in due course.

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