Dutch star van der Vaart admits hitting wife at NYE party

Rafael and Sylvie van der Vaart in happier times. (Photo: Futbolita)

The Netherlands' own answer to the Beckhams, Rafael and Sylvie van der Vaart, are heading for Splitsville after a furious altercation on New Year's Eve.

Van der Vaart, who is currently plying his trade at Bundesliga side Hamburg, hit his wife at a private party following a heated argument.

The striker told German newspaper, Bild: ‘It was very foolish of me. I’m an idiot. I’m very sorry. It should never have happened.’

Sylvie later told the newspaper : "I have forgiven him already".

Hours later, the couple announced they had decide to separate after an eight-year marriage. They have a six-year-old son from their union named Damián Rafael.

"I am very sad that it did not work with us. We are the culprits. Sylvie alone and I have to answer for it, that our marriage does not work," admitted van der Vaart, who represents The Netherlands at international level and has scored 21 goals in 103 appearances.

News of the split will come as a surprise for fans of the couple, given the fact that their public displays of affection are regularly splashed across TV stations and tabloids across Germany and The Netherlands.

Sylvie who is a popular model and TV personality in both countries, said,"We have unfortunately drifted apart over time. It was a gradual process that was not easy to stop. Even though it sounds weird, we still love and respect each other."

In 2009, Van der Vaart turned down a move from Real Madrid to Tottenham, despite the Spanish club's desire to sell him, because he wanted to be around for Sylvie while she was undergoing breast cancer treatment in Madrid.

"All the luxuries in the world are no protection against that moment when you are told the diagnosis. Then you are just a woman," she said in an interview describing her tumultous experience during chemotherapy.

Man City striker Sergio Aguero (left) is struggling with his life off the pitch. (Photo: Futbolita)

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero may be at the peak of his career at Manchester City, but it's his  personal life that has been making headlines all across Argentina.

After four years, the 25-year-old striker, who is married to Maradona's youngest daughter, Gianinna, has filed for separation from his wife, after tales of infidelity and trust issues cropped up following his move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City in 2011.

In addition, both Gianina and Kun are reportedly at loggerheads over one another's parenting style. The couple have a 4-year-old son named Benjie, who was born in 2009.

"Every time Sergio travels to an away game (with Man City) she goes out to eat and dance, and leaves Benjie alone. She does not think he knows. But Kun comes around, sees what is happening, and is tired of the situation," revealed a source close to the couple.

Giannina, seen here with son Benjie, reportedly still likes to party. (Photo: Futbolita)

In addition, Giannina's "cold relationship" with the player's family has been said to be the trigger for more problems.

"She only allows Benjie to visit his paternal grandparents if Kun comes along," said the source. "If he does not accompany Benjie, she does everything possible to avoid letting them meet their grandchild."

The report further alleges that Kun has consulted lawyers to deal with the legal process and divorce paperwork.

According to new reports in Argentinean news portal, Vanitatis, Gianinna has taken the couple's son with her and already moved out of their marital home in Manchester.

She is now putting up in the couple's €5 million mansion in Madrid while they both decide on the next step.

The couple met in 2006 through Maradona.

Cristiano Ronaldo plays the dutiful father during New Year's Eve. (Photo: Futbolita)

Meanwhile, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo rang in the New Year in his hometown of Madeira in Portugal.

He flew in his Russian model girlfriend, Irina Shayk and 2-year-old son, Ronaldo Junior, from Madrid to celebrate the occasion with his extended family, and the trio was welcomed by fans as they walked out (without any sign of security) of the small airport into a car.

Ronaldo is expected to attend next Monday's FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.