Former Tottenham and Holland playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old has struggled with injuries this season and has only made three appearances for Danish side Esbjerg.

After starting his career at Ajax’s academy, he had a successful spell at Real Madrid before Tottenham paid £8million for him.

In a message posted on Twitter, van der Vaart, who won 109 caps for the Netherlands, announced his retirement by saying: “If there is one moment to use My Way, this is it.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to say goodbye to the game I love the most. But words can’t express how grateful I am for those 18 wonderful years of professional football. Thank you all!”