Rafael van der Vaart admits he still misses playing for Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael Van der Vaart on the bench

The Dutch playmaker spent two seasons at White Hart Lane at the start of the decade.

Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael Van der Vaart on the bench

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Rafael van der Vaart has told the club's official website that he misses playing for the club "every minute" four years after leaving England.

Van der Vaart had developed a reputation as a top-class creative and goalscoring midfielder during his spells with Ajax, Hamburg, and Real Madrid before he joined Spurs in 2010 from the Spanish giants.

The former Netherlands international took to English football like a duck to water and became an integral part of Harry Redknapp's side which enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in his first season.

Rafael van der Vaart celebrates after scoring Tottenham's first goal

The 33-year-old scored 28 goals in 78 games for Spurs, forming part of a formidable attacking side which also included the likes of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.

Van der Vaart left to return to Hamburg after two years with the club, but he admitted to their official website that he still thinks about his time in North London every single day.

The current Real Betis man said: "We had an unbelievable squad and times I will never forget.

Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael van der Vaart during the match

"The nights we played in the Champions League, wow, they were something special. For me, that was my best year. I miss Tottenham every minute. The club is still in my heart."

Van der Vaart was a fan favourite at White Hart Lane and his departure was mourned by many at the time who feared it would be hugely damaging to the club.

Spurs arguably now have the best side since that team of 2010-11, but Van der Vaart in his prime would surely still slot straight into the attacking midfield role - as it is, both player and supporters have to settle for fond memories.

Tottenham's Rafael Van der Vaart celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch