It's no small thing when one of the world's top talents says that in Germany's entire Bundesliga, no one might be playing better than American Neven Subotic.
Van der Vaart, who previously had a successful stint in Germany while playing for Hamburg, brought up Subotic when asked by Bild who he would pick out as the best player of the season thus far.
The young Borrusia Dortmund defender has impressed Van der Vaart, though he also mentioned Leverkusen's Rene Adler and Hamburg's Mladen Petric as players who have performed well.
He singled out Subotic for specific praise, though, saying, "I like Dortmund centerback Neven Subotic very much."
In an interesting conincidence, the one other player that Van der Vaart rated, Hoffenheim's Vedad Ibisevic, shares Bosnian and American roots with Subotic. Both were born in the former Yugoslavia, but both spent key parts of their soccer development years in the United States. Ibisevic was in St. Louis playing club and college soccer, while Subotic played in Florida with the U.S. U17 national team.
Ibisevic has already committed to the Bosnian national team, while Subotic remains eligible for Bosnia, Serbia and the United States. His father has made clear he would like his son to play for Serbia, but Subotic is said to favor a return to U.S. colors.
--Andrea Canales, Goal.com