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Spurs ace Van der Vaart: I am here thanks to hard work

Tottenham ace Rafael van der Vaart says he's where he is thanks to hard work.

Despite his skill and vision he had to graft on other aspects to make the grade.

The 28-year-old told the Sunday Mail: "I was born with natural talent but also worked hard to take it to the next level. I was quite a thin kid, not strong and not very fast. I had to go to the gym to become stronger. I had to be ready to join in with the big boys.

"I graduated to the first team at 17 and it was a dream even just to make one appearance.

"Now I have been a professional for more than 10 years and have had a wonderful life. I have played in a World Cup Final for Holland and many big games for Ajax, Hamburg, Real Madrid and Spurs.

"But I want to win a big prize. I want the Premiership or Champions League with Tottenham. I want the 2012 European Championships with Holland.

"I hope my best years have still to come. This could be the best four years of my career. I have scored more than 150 goals and I want more."

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