Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is grateful for his time with Real Madrid.

Van der Vaart struggled for regular minutes, but admits his profile was raised by being with Real.

"It was hard to leave Madrid. Madrid is a fantastic place, a club amongst the strongest in the world," Van der Vaart told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"There were so many players - me, Wesley [Sneijder], [Arjen] Robben - we hadn't got the space we thought we had.

"Real Madrid gave me money, a chance to be famous, playing big matches. I will always be grateful to them."

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