Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Van der Vaart signing signals end Ronaldo chase?
by Joe Addison, August 5th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Real Madrid's signing of Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart from German side Hamburg SV in a $20 million transfer deal could spell the end of the Spanish champion's protracted pursuit of Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo.

Earlier in the summer, Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster put van der Vaart at the top of his transfer list and made it clear that the acquisition of the Dutchman would not be a step down from Ronaldo.

"Ronaldo is the best in the world at the moment," said Schuster, "but if we cannot sign him, then I would be just as happy with Van der Vaart."

Those are lofty words from Schuster, and the 25-year-old van der Vaart may have to immediately back them up by jumping into the lineup to replace international teammate Wesley Sneijder, who injured his knee in a preseason friendly against Arsenal and will miss the first two months of the Spanish season.

Van der Vaart appears to be relishing such a challenge.

"I have always wanted to move to Spain because I have a strong bond with that country," he said referring to his Spanish mother. "Now I'm going to play for Real Madrid. It's a dream come true."

Van der Vaart grew up playing in the Ajax youth academy and spent five years in the club's first team before moving to Hamburg in 2005. In 74 Bundesliga appearances with HSV, he scored 29 goals.

The attacking midfielder led Hamburg to fourth place in the 2007-08 German league season and was also a key figure in his country's dominant victories over France and Italy during Euro 2008.

Van der Vaart will be joining four Dutchmen at Madrid. In addition to Sneijder, he will be teaming up with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben and Royston Drenthe.

Despite the ever-present transfer rumors swirling around the Bernabeu, van der Vaart is only the second player to join Real Madrid during the off-season. Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay signed for the club earlier in the summer.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Congrats to Wondo, but Dwyer's goal is tops     
Chris Wondolowski's penalty-kick strike makes the list of Week 12 MLS AT&T Goal of the Week ...
Open Cup: Chula Vista FC and PSA Elite hang with the pros    
In the tradition of Cal FC, Eric Wynalda's USASA team that reached the fourth round of ...
MLS Power Rankings: Sounders hold first place    
Seattle held the top spot in Soccer America's Power Power Rankings despite being held to a ...
Germany rests trio of stars for U.S. friendly    
Germany's national team coach Joachim Loew named a 20-player squad for the June 10 friendly against ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: France's Louisa Necib    
France's Women's World Cup hopes received a boost on Friday when star Louisa Necib played her ...
USL Weekend: Floods leave Austin stadium under water    
On Monday, heavy rains left Austin's House Park filled with seven feet of water in the ...
NASL Weekend: Cosmos break open spring race    
The New York Cosmos opened up a six-point lead in the NASL's spring standings with a ...
Video Pick: Own goals don't come sadder than this     
Pavel Krmas, a 35-year-old Czech defender playing in his 151st and final game for Freiburg, scored ...
What They're Saying: Christie Rampone    
"I didn't get an email or a phone call. I'm so old that I got a ...
Key games on tap in Europe this week     
The title winners in Europe's major leagues have been decided, but there are still plenty of ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives