‘It’s Rafa and Benoit going at it, naked!’ – Jermaine Jenas reveals shock Tottenham ruck after ‘sly’ on-field moment between Rafael van der Vaart and Benoit Assou-Ekotto leads to fight in the showers

    Jermaine Jenas has told how a cheeky on-field moment featuring Rafael van der Vaart and Benoit Assou-Ekotto led to them fighting naked in the showers.

    Yes, you read that right.

    Van der Vaart made 77 appearances for Tottenham during an impressive spell

    getty

    Van der Vaart made 77 appearances for Tottenham during an impressive spell

    However it was a bust-up between the Dutchman and Assou-Ekotto that sticks in Jenas’s memory

    However it was a bust-up between the Dutchman and Assou-Ekotto that sticks in Jenas’s memory

    Former midfielder Jenas played for Tottenham between 2005 and 2013 where he featured alongside the duo, and a host of other stellar stars in north London.

    Van der Vaart and Assou-Ekotto are known as two of the bigger characters Spurs had in their ranks during the noughties, with both mavericks and entertainers with the ball.

    It’s perhaps no surprise, then, to learn that their personalities sometimes clashed, and on one occasion an on-field incident led to a somewhat bizarre altercation behind-the-scenes.

    Jenas told William Hill’s Stripped Podcast: “There was a moment at Tottenham when Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Rafael van der Vaart both wanted to take a free-kick.

    “Rafa wanted to take the free-kick, but Benoit wasn’t having any of it and so when Benoit was ready to take it, Rafa just came up and took it on the sly!

    “We get in, everyone is getting changed and then suddenly I hear this commotion in the showers.

    Assou-Ekotto was embroiled in a naked scrap with Van der Vaart, according to Jenas

    Assou-Ekotto was embroiled in a naked scrap with Van der Vaart, according to Jenas

    “It’s Rafa and Benoit going at it, naked!

    “It got stopped pretty much immediately but it just shows that these things happen a lot, just not on the pitch.”

    Assou-Ekotto recalled the same bust-up in an interview earlier this year, but decided to leave out one key detail…

    “We actually had a fight in the dressing room once about free-kicks,” Assou-Ekotto said. “He had an expectation about that, and after that we became even more close.

    “On the Sunday I had the fight with him, then a few days later he gives me the ball and I score against Everton. He was happy and we were close.”

    Van der Vaart took Spurs up another level but Assou-Ekotto revealed they once came to blows in the dressing room

    AFP

    Van der Vaart took Spurs up another level but Assou-Ekotto revealed they once came to blows in the dressing room

    While Jenas went on to make 202 appearances for Tottenham, the Smart car-driving and proud Oyster Card-owning Assou-Ekotto made more appearances for the club, having played 205 times for the north London side between 2006 and 2013.

    As for Van der Vaart, the Dutch star made 77 appearances, scoring 28 goals and racking up 18 assists before leaving to join Hamburg in 2013.

    It appears there might have been something in the water at Spurs at the time, as it’s not the first we’ve heard of in-fighting between their stars.

    There was the time Robbie Keane floored Edgar Davids with a big right hand – “He just went, bang – one punch. Gone.” – during training.

    And Jamie O’Hara once told talkSPORT about when he was slapped right across the face in front of the entire team by on-loan Inter Milan ace Stephane Dalmat.

    I think we can all be quite sure that none of this nonsense happens on Antonio Conte’s watch…

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