"The Final Whistle Has Blown" for Sylvie & Rafa van der Vaart
FROM BILD (Sorry about that - but they appear to have spoken to this paper)
By BABAK MILANI
Slightly condensed translation by me, jenny_jenkins
They were THE glamour couple of the Bundesliga. The successful football star Rafael (29) and his beautiful wife, Sylvie van der Vaart (34). Their relationship lasted 10 years. The final whistle has blown.
The marriage is finished. "I am very sad that it didn't work out for us. We are the guilty ones. Sylvie and I have to answer for the fact that our marriage isn't functioning," declares Hamburg's playmaker.
[Sylvie van der Vaart]: "We have, over time, drifted apart. It was a gradual process...even though it may sound we still love and respect each other..."
They've been in crisis since the summer...[And] at their private New Year's party in their 400 sqm apartment in Eppendorf they had a hefty argument. Sylvie hit the floor with a loud thud after her husband hit her. The ten invited guests were shocked.
Rafael, regretfully: "It was very foolish of me. I'm an idiot. I'm so sorry. That should never have happened.
Sylvie adds: "I've already forgiven him."
[The article notes that the relationship will stay friendly because of their son Damian]
Sylvie: "We will always be respectful toward each other in the future..."
Sylvie will remain in their new home. Rafael flies to his team's training camp in Abu Dhabi. 10 days from now he'll need to find a new home.