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Rafa van der Vaart on Micky van de Ven: “I got goosebumps… but he’s stolen my song!”

Thu 11 April 2024, 12:30|Tottenham Hotspur

There was a sense of deja-vu for Rafa van der Vaart as he watched the scenes from our 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Turn the clock back to 2010, and the Dutch playmaker struck an instant rapport with the Spurs faithful with his swashbuckling displays as Harry Redknapp’s team took on allcomers in the Premier League and our first season in the UEFA Champions League.

Rafa was pure box office in those forward areas alongside the likes of Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Aaron Lennon and scored in his first six appearances at the Lane between September-November, 2010 – Wolves, FC Twente, Villa, Everton, Inter and Sunderland. He then timed his first away goal to perfection as we came from 2-0 down to beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates.

It didn’t take long for fans to find a song for Rafa – based off KC and the Sunshine Band’s hit from the early 1980s, Give It Up, turning the chorus of Baby give it up. Give it up, Baby give it up. Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na… to Rafa van der Vaart. Van der Vaart, Rafa van der Vaart. Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na…

Fast-forward to 2023/24, and there’s a new Dutchman in N17, gaining similar praise to Rafa.

Micky van de Ven arrived at Spurs from Vfl Wolfsburg in Germany in the summer, made his Premier League debut at Brentford on the opening day and performed superbly as we went 10 games unbeaten from the start of the campaign until a hamstring injury kept him out for two months. That form earned him a first senior Netherlands cap in October.

Returning in January, he’s back to his best – officially, the fastest player in the Premier League - and now a goalscorer! Micky thumped home his second Spurs goal to get us back in front against Forest, and he was serenaded by 60,000 fans at the final whistle - everyone belting out a song that struck a chord back in Romania, where Rafa was tuned in...

“I got goosebumps… but he’s stolen my song!” Rafa laughed when we spoke to him on Wednesday. “I’ll never forget the fans singing Rafa van der Vaart, van der Vaart, Rafa van de Vaart, na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na, na… it’s so nice. It brought back memories, wow, as I said, goosebumps. I know how that feels to be flying at Spurs. I remember the fans used to sing that for me, now for him. The fans are special, you know that. I still really love them.”

Coming soon - Rafa’s analysis of Micky’s career so far and form at Spurs...