Football pundit Rafael van der Vaart both under fire and praised in Spain

by Deborah Cater
Rafael van der Vaart upsets Spanish team with his analysis

FOOTBALL – The Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart is the talk of the town in Spain. After his fierce criticism of the Spanish team, players were far from happy. However, Spanish newspapers feel his harsh words have just the right effect on La Roja. 

Former international Rafael van der Vaart is a football pundit in Holland. Although many people were critical of Spain’s game,  and especially the result, Rafael van der Vaart’s criticism did not go down well with the Spanish players.

What did Van der Vaart say about Spain?

Van der Vaart, who has a Spanish mother and played for Real Madrid and Real Betis, said, “I think it is horrible, that Spain. There’s really nothing in it, really very little. They play at home in Seville. It’s all a bit of playing around and no one is willing or able to give the deciding ball. Very disappointing.”

Later in the broadcast he said: “I hope the Netherlands can play against Spain because this team has nothing. They just walk from one side of the field to the other without creating anything.”

Spanish team full on the attack after comments Dutch analyst

The comments of Van der Vaart did not go unnoticed by Luis Enrique and his players. Midfielder Sarabia told Radio Marca that he is talking nonsense and is completely wrong. He said: “The only memory I have of him is from the 2010 World Cup final. He didn’t fare so well after Spain beat the Netherlands.”

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Koke also responded to Van der Vaart’s criticism on the Spanish news channel Cadena Cope: “He wants his moment of glory. His words will motivate us even more if we still play this European Championship against the Netherlands.” He hits back at Van der Vaart by reminding him of the painful defeat during the World Cup final against Spain. “I know him from the photo of Iniesta’s goal.” In this photo, Van der Vaart tries to prevent a goal during the World Cup final in 2010, when Spain became world champions after beating the Netherlands.

Spanish media applaud harsh words Dutch analyst

It seems the fierce criticism of the football analyst has a positive effect on the group. Spanish newspapers, such as El Confidencial, are full of praise for Van der Vaart’s harsh words. The Spanish media reported on Wednesday his negative statements created a different atmosphere within the Spanish team. They will be extra keen to give everything in the coming matches.

How is Spain doing at the European Championship?

Spain is currently in third place in group E and could still become one of four third places of the tournament. However, this depends on tonight’s results. Spain will play the last group match against Slovakia on Wednesday at 6 p.m. If they win, the Spanish team goes directly to the last 16. If not, the results of other matches will determine whether Spain will be among the top third places.

The Netherlands will play the last 16 round on Sunday, June 27. The Orange squad will face the third place from group D, E, or F, depending on the results – that could be Spain.

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