Courtois’s attack on UEFA and FIFA for prioritizing financial gain over player health when drawing up schedules (“They only care about money!”) Won the applause of much of the profession but it has also found a harsh criticism, that of Rafael Van der Vaart, former player of Ajax, Real Madrid and Betis, among others, and now a commentator. For the Dutchman, Courtois complains too much.
“I think it is silly. Then you have six months of vacation. You only play football, a club pays you a lot of money… Of course the match schedule is very busy, but we’ve all been through that “The Dutchman said yesterday when he was analyzing the match between the Netherlands and Gibraltar on NOS television. Pierre van Hooijdonk, also a former Oranje footballer and broadcast partner, tried to make him see that the current generation has a much tighter schedule than in his time. But far from qualifying the statements or rectifying, Van der Vaart pressed the accelerator: “Competitions are the most fun there is, they are whining.”
After hanging up his boots and grabbing the microphone, the ex-Madridista is a regular in controversy. The penultimate one had the Spanish National Team as the protagonist. Van der Vaart harshly criticized the play of Luis Enrique’s men in the first two days of the Eurocup and wished La Roja as the Netherlands’ rival in the second round. After the draws of Spain against Sweden (0-0) and Poland (1-1), he commented in a sports conference in NOS that the National Team’s game was “horrible”, that the team was unable to provide an assist and that it would be a good rival for the Netherlands in the second round. His words, obviously, did not go down well in the Spanish dressing room and he found an answer in Koke or Busquets.
Spain ended up qualifying for the round of 16 with a 5-0 victory over Slovakia, Van der Vaart congratulated Luis Enrique’s men on the pass, and the Netherlands fell 2-0 against the Czech Republic in their round of 16. “I already told you that it would have been better for the Netherlands to meet Spain at the crossroads”, he tweeted alongside a smiley emoticon.