Van der Vaart chose to hang up the boots immediately after suffering an injury while training with Esbjerg.
"I just have to stop now, I'm not here to rehabilitate, but to play football," he is quoted by De Telegraaf.
"The fun will be different and that's what I want to do. I wanted to become a football grandpa, but unfortunately that is not the case. At this moment I can only be grateful for all the years that I was allowed to play football. All those players, staff, fans of the Arena, the Volksparkstadion, White Hart Lane up to and including the Bernabéu, I just have warm feelings about it.
"It was a great time.
"I won prizes and played championships, both with my clubs, the Dutch national team and individually. In all those years I have been able to play football with and against so many great players in the most beautiful stadiums. I had never dared to dream of that as a young boy."