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Hamburg to hold testimonial for Rafael van der Vaart October 13

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It’ll include Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, and Heurelho Gomes!

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Need something to make you smile today? Here’s something that might cheer you up — Rafael van der Vaart is getting a testimonial! After 467 professional football matches, including 67 in European competition, Rafa’s former club Hamburg is hosting his official going-away party, despite van der Vaart hanging up his boots in November of last year.

The match will take place October 13 at 3 pm local time at the Volksparkstadion, Hamburg’s home ground. My guess is that it won’t be televised, but who knows?

Playing the testimonial at Hamburg makes sense, as Rafa played six seasons at the Bundesliga club in two different stints during his career. He’s beloved by many Tottenham supporters, however, and that’s reflected in the makeup of his testimonial squad, which includes some football luminaries over the past couple of decades, and includes three of his former Spurs teammates — Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, and Heurelho Gomes.

Here’s the full squad list. It’s oozing with “Klaas.”

  • Edwin van der Saar (GK)
  • Heurelho Gomes (GK)
  • Rafael van der Vaart (MF)
  • Fabio Cannavaro (DEF)
  • Peter Crouch (FW)
  • Mark Overmars (MF)
  • Arjen Robben (FW)
  • Andre Ooijer (MF)
  • Klaas Jan Huntelaar (FW)
  • Wesley Sneidjer (FW)
  • Mark van Bommel (MF)
  • Giovanni von Bronckhorst (DEF)
  • John Heitinga (MF)
  • Jermain Defoe (FW)
  • Robin van Persie (FW)
  • Ronald De Boer (DEF)
  • Patrick Kluivert (FW)
  • Clarence Seedorf (FW)

Testimonial matches are fun because nobody takes them even remotely seriously and they’re there for old retired pros to huff around the field for 90 minutes and enjoy themselves. I wish I could watch it. Maybe someone will post highlights.