Van der Vaart: "I instantly knew it was going in"
HSV fans went ballistic with joy as Rafael van der Vaart scored at home, after 25 minutes in the Bundesliga matchday 22 home win over Gladbach. HSV.de caught up with the Dutch master after full time. Read here what Rafa told us.
It took a long time coming, but in the end it was well worth waiting for. In the 1-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend, the massive crowd inside the Imtech arena knew they had witnessed something really special. After 24 minutes, Ajrtoms Rudnevs found van der Vaart with a square pass some 25 metres out. In his trademark style, the Dutch midfielder met the ball perfectly to send a blockbuster shot into the top right hand corner of the Gladbach net for what turned out to be the winning goal. It was van der Vaart's first home foal since the one he opened the scoring with against KSV on matchday 34 of the 2007/08 season which ended in a 7-0 rout, 1736 days ago! HSV.de spoke to Rafa shortly after the Gladbach game was over. This is what he told us:
Rafa, congratulations on beating Gladbach, and of course your dream strike.
Van der Vaart: Thanks very much. This victory was immensely important. Nobody expected us to beat Dortmund away last weekend, which is why it was so important to carry on the good work today at home. We deserved to win today because of the way we performed in the first half. We weren't quite as good after the break. We didn't relieve the pressure enough, which is something we have to work on.
One thing you don't have to work on is your shooting technique. How was the moment as you scored?
Van der Vaart: I just thought in that situation: Just close your eyes and shoot. I thought it was worth a try. As soon as the ball left my boot I knew it was going in. Of course luck plays a part, but it was perfectly struck.
...like in the first game against Gladbach earlier in the season.
Van der Vaart (laughs): That’s true. It was similar. I seem to like playing against Gladbach.
How important was the goal for you from a personal angle?
Van der Vaart: It was important to score again after such a long time. Today I had a good feeling before kick off. It was time for me to score again. But the most important thing was that we collected three points by way of that goal, otherwise it would have been worthless.
The victory has moved HSV up to sixth place in the Bundesliga table.
Van der Vaart: Hopefully it remains that way. If we take things one game at a time, we can have a good season. But we must continue to work hard. Things are really tight in the table.