Van der Vaart rules out Ajax return

The 30-year-old has ended speculation surrounding a move back home, saying he hopes to spend the remainder of his career with Hamburg
Rafael van der Vaart has ruled out a return to Ajax and says that he wants to end his career at Hamburg.

The attacking midfielder scored five goals while adding 10 assists in 27 Bundesliga matches for the German outfit last season after making an estimated 13 million euro switch from Tottenham in August.

The Netherlands international, 30, is in his second spell with Hamburg and, despite rumours to the contrary, he insists that he is not looking to move back home anytime soon.

"I'd prefer to play here until the end of my career here. I do not want to leave Hamburg,” he told Bild, when asked if he could return to the Amsterdam giants.

Van der Vaart took part in a match to celebrate Ajax legend Sjaak Swart’s 75th birthday this week, pitting former players from the club against each other. Among those in attendance were Johan Cruyff, Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard, Marc Overmars, Edwin van der Sar and Wesley Sneijder.

"Playing with the legendary Johan Cruyff in the same team as me was one of the highlights of my career," he added. "It was really great.

"After all the reports in the newspaper everybody expected that I would appear with a fat belly! On the field everyone wanted to have a look at my stomach. They were disappointed that there was no big belly under my t-shirt."

Van der Vaart has two years remaining on his current contract with Hamburg.