Rafael van der Vaart has revealed that he rejected a move to Barcelona as a 16-year-old.

  • By Michael Bell
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vdv-midThe former Real Madrid and Tottenham star was highly sought after when he was coming through the Ajax academy and Barcelona tried to tempt him to move to Spain. However, Van der Vaart decided to remain in the Netherlands as he wanted to break through at Ajax before moving abroad.

He told¬†Noordhollands Dagblad,¬†“Barcelona wanted to sign me when I was 16 but I never even considered a transfer. I felt that I had to make a name for myself at Ajax first.

“That is my advice to promising youngsters in the Eredivisie as well, to show what they can do in the Netherlands first before making the move elsewhere.

“You see that there is a lot of hype about youngsters these days, they get all sorts of praise after a few games. It’s the same in the Netherlands. You play a few good games and you get called up for the national team and are being linked with big clubs.”

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