Van der Vaart named worst player
Rafael van der Vaart has been named the most disappointing player of the Bundesliga season by his fellow players, but the playmaker insists he is determined to stay with Hamburg and improve the club's fortunes next season.
Despite not winning any of their last seven games in the Bundesliga or either of the two legs of their relegation playoff, Die Rothosen managed to stay in the German top flight by beating Bundesliga 2. side Greuther Fuerth on away goals.
It was a nightmare season for HSV, who are the Bundesliga's longest-serving outfit having never been relegated from the division in their history.
Three coaches -- Thorsten Fink, Bert van Marwijk and Mirko Slomka -- were unable to stop the club foundering as major distractions off the pitch adversely affected Hamburg too.
In kicker's annual poll, 80 percent of Bundesliga players said that Hamburg were "the negative surprise of the season," while nearly half of those polled named Van der Vaart "the most disappointing player of the season." His teammate, goalkeeper Rene Adler, came second with 7.5 percent of the vote.
Despite enduring a poor campaign, however, Van der Vaart does not want to leave Hamburg, telling Bild his goal is to erase the memory of the "very, very bad second half of the season."
Media reports had previously linked the Dutchman, who will miss Netherlands' World Cup campaign through injury, with a switch to Turkey.
Besiktas and Fenerbahce have reportedly expressed an interest in the 31-year-old former Spurs midfielder, but Van der Vaart said: "There has been no contact [with the Turkish clubs]. I will play for HSV in the next season and give it my all so that the fans can see the good Rafael play, rather than the bad one from recent months."
The Netherlands international also gave an insight into his state of mind after being forced out of the World Cup, adding: "The disappointment roots deep. I don't want to say more about this sad moment. I will watch as many World Cup games as possible and keep my fingers crossed for my colleagues. Hopefully, we get really far."