|Van der Vaart, centre, tries to stop Andres Iniesta's winning goal in the World Cup final in South Africa [EPA]
English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur were allowed to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid after their last-ditch move for the Dutch playmaker on deadline day.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp moved for van der Vaart just two hours before the transfer window closed on Wednesday, causing a frantic scramble to file the paperwork in time, and the north London outfit were left to wait overnight to discover if the Premier League would ratify the deal.
Redknapp was finally able to plan for life with van der Vaart on Thursday as the Premier League rubber-stamped the most impressive deadline day coup by an English club, for a cut-price fee of about $12 million.
"We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael Van der Vaart," a statement on Tottenham's website said.
"For that sort of money, he is a top player and he will improve us for sure. It's a last-minute job"
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
Van der Vaart has won 83 caps for Holland, scoring 16 goals, and has played in two European Championships and two World Cups, including this year's tournament in South Africa where he featured five times in his side's run to the final.
The 27-year-old was available at a cut-price rate after new Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho decided to cash in on a player who would have struggled to win a first-team place ahead of the likes of Kaka, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Redknapp believes he has landed a bargain and, speaking before the move was completed, he said: "He is available now for about eight million (pounds). He is a quality player. He is a Dutch international and a great footballer.
"For that sort of money, he is a top player and he will improve us for sure. It's a last-minute job."
On the attributes Van der Vaart will bring to Tottenham, Redknapp said: "He is a great passer of the ball, he is a top footballer. He will join in here and play the way we like to play, he would be a big plus for us."