The illustrious Netherlands international has made a surprising declaration, when it comes to choosing which club will be his last.
Spanish third-tier outfit, Cadiz CF, could very well be preparing themselves to welcome a former Ajax, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur star, following declarations made by Rafael van der Vaart to The Post Online.
The Netherlands international, with 25 goals and 109 matches under his belt, seems intent on trading the ‘Oranje’ his national team are famed for, with a desire to hang up his boots only once he’s worn the ‘amarillo’ (yellow), of a team who are very close to his heart.
“I’ve agreed with my grandfather that I’ll finish my career at Cadiz,” he revealed to The Post Online, when asked about his not too distant plans, given that he is out of contract with German side Hamburg this summer.
The Bundesliga club have opted not to offer their captain a new deal, which has also lead to negotiations with Sporting Kansas City, leading to the prospect of Van der Vaart heading to the MLS, for what many believed would be the player seeing out his playing days in the USA.
However, there’s uncertainty surrounding that move at the moment, following initial suggestions by the Kansas City Star, that his salary demands were too big an obstacle.
In contrast though, MLSsoccer.com indicated funds weren’t an issue, but family concerns about moving to another continent, could be a factor for the 32-year-old.
So in the meantime, why the affinity with Cadiz and why would a club in the Segunda B4, one of the four divisions of the Spanish third-tier, appeal to such a player?
Although he was born in the Netherlands, the country of his father, Van der Vaart’s mother is from Chiclana de la Frontera, a town just a short distance from the port city of Cadiz.
As a youngster, he spent many happy holidays with his grandfather, an avid fan of the local team and hence therefore, the ‘promise’ made about his final footballing destination.
The current aim, if negotiations with Sporting Kansas City reach a successful outcome, is to spend two seasons in the MLS. After that, Cadiz fans at the Ramon de Carranza stadium will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of Rafael van der Vaart, with arms wide open.
Cadiz might not be a third-tier club for much longer either. They currently top the Segunda B4 by eight points and are gunning for promotion, although there’s always the convoluted play-off process to get through at the end of the season.