According to reports, former Real Madrid and Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart and wife Sylvie are calling it quits after the Dutch player admitted to hitting her during a private New Year’s Eve bash.
The 29-year-old player told German newspaper Bild: “It was very foolish of me. I’m an idiot. I’m very sorry. It should never have happened.”
Van der Vaart continued: “I am very sad that it did not work with us. We are the culprits. Sylvie alone and I have to answer for it, that our marriage does not work.”
Sylvie, a television personality and model, announced that she forgave van der Vaart but later confirmed that they had officially separated.
“We have unfortunately drifted apart over time. It was a gradual process that was not easy to spot,” Sylvie told Bild. “Even though it sounds weird, we still love and respect each other.”
Van der Vaart left Tottenham in the summer to play for German club Hamburg reportedly to be closer to his family. The split comes a week after after the couple posted a picture on Twitter of themselves with son Damian during their Christmas holiday. Currently undergoing treatment for a thigh muscle injury, van der Vaart joined his Hamburg teammates to fly off to Abu Dhabi for a winter break training break before the restart of the Bundesliga season on Jan. 19. Club managing director Frank Arnesen pledged his support for the embroiled playmaker.
“We will support Rafa, protect him and give him time. He loves football, which will help him,” Arnesen told Bild.de. “He is a strong character.”
“He will bring a high level of performance. I’m there for him when he needs me.”