Rafael van der Vaart is full of excitement at being back in Madrid for a Champions League quarter-final against the club he left just over seven months ago.
It was from tonight’s opponents Real that the Dutchman arrived at the Lane on transfer deadline day last summer.
During his two seasons at the Bernabeu, Rafa made 71 appearances for the most successful club in European football and admits it was a special time for him.
But he is only looking at the present and insists he has nothing to prove to his former employers – his only desire being to help us through to the semi-finals of this famous competition at the first time of asking.
Rafa said: “I had a great time here. Madrid is a fantastic club and I'm very proud I played here. It is something special because eight months ago I left and now I'm back. I’m really excited. It's a big game for me and everybody.
“I miss it sometimes – the weather and the lifestyle because my mother is Spanish - but I’m really happy at Spurs. It’s a fantastic club and the Premier League is great.
“I just want to play a good game and be important for my team, but it’s not as if I have bad feelings about Real and need to prove anything. They know the sort of player I am.”
And Rafa knows just how big this tie is for his current club but has urged his team-mates to show no fear in attacking Jose Mourinho’s side.
He added: “We’re in the Champions League for the first time for and it's a really big thing. We've done fantastic to be here in the quarter-final against the biggest team in the world and we have nothing to lose.
“We need a goal to have a good chance of going through. We want to score and attack and my feeling is that we have a good chance.”