Rafael van der Vaart plays in the 2010 World Cup for the Netherlands against Spain

Tottenham's former Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart retired at the age of 35.

The former Dutch international, who played Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final defeat, had an 18-year career starting with Ajax.

In August, he moved to the Danish team Esbjerg, which limited him due to his injury to three games.

"It was not an easy decision to say goodbye to the game I love most," he said on twitter.