Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Burnley

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

St. Mary's Stadium

Last Game

So'ton 6 - 1 A Villa

Saturday, 16 May 2015, 12:45

Barclays Prem

Vlaar admits he is a 'fighter'

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has revealed his battle back from two career-threatening knee injuries have made him the player he is today.

Last Updated: 10/11/12 at 13:42 Post Comment

Ron Vlaar: Admits his battles with injury have made him a 'fighter'

Ron Vlaar: Admits his battles with injury have made him a 'fighter'

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The 27-year-old first suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in September 2007 while playing for Feyenoord, the resulting surgery keeping him out for the entire 2007/08 season.

Twelve months later and after battling his way back to fitness, the Netherlands international suffered the same injury during pre-season training, causing him again to sit out the entire campaign.

Thankfully for Vlaar he was able to regain his fitness and form, with his displays at the heart of the Feyenoord defence catching the eye of new Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, who moved quickly last July to bring him to the Premier League.

He has been a mainstay in the Villa defence since, missing just one game - against Tranmere in the Capital One Cup last August.

He admits that his battles with injury have ultimately made him a better player, adding a steel and determination to his footballing talents.

"I was just happy to play again but, as a top athlete, that's actually not enough," he said. "I came from a dark side and I was wondering what level I could get to.

"I'm a fighter. When I started my recovery it was just looking forward and the light at the end of the tunnel became bigger and bigger."

Surgery

He added: "The doctors didn't say something like it could end my career because that's not very helpful in your mind.

"After the second time it was hard until the surgery. Then one way - up."

Villa take on Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday and Vlaar admits games such as that are why players make the move to the Premier League.

However, thanks to his injury-plagued past he insists he takes every game seriously, regardless of the opposition, as he knows he is fortunate to be playing at all.

When asked whether he will raise his game for the Red Devils, he added: "No. I try to play as good as I can every game.

"Against bigger clubs you are motivated you mean? That is bad, you have to be the same every day.

"I am a player who likes to win every fight, every game. I am looking forward to playing against strikers I have not played against before."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling would interest Manchester City – Sky sources

Manchester City would be interested in signing Raheem Sterling if he were to become available, according to Sky sources.

Alan Pardew not sure Crystal Palace can match fine season in 2015-16

Alan Pardew says it is going to be difficult to repeat Crystal Palace's sensational second half of the season when the 2015-16 campaign starts.

Tim Sherwood expects Christian Benteke to remain Aston Villa player

Tim Sherwood is convinced Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa, although he has not broached the subject with him.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company