Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Ruud van Nistelrooy leaves Real Madrid to join Hamburg SV

REUTERS , BERLIN

Hamburg SV have signed Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy from Real Madrid on an 18-month contract, the Bundesliga club said on Saturday.

“The 33-year-old striker gets a contract until June 30, 2011,” the club announced on their Web site.

Van Nistelrooy said: “I am very happy that it worked out and look forward to Monday when I will arrive in Hamburg.”

“Hamburg is a fantastic club with a strong team and great ambitions. I also have great ambitions,” he said.

Van Nistelrooy played 68 games for Real since 2006, scoring 46 goals. He has also been capped 64 times by the Netherlands.

The striker, who was previously with Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven, has not played in the last two months because of a muscle injury.

Van Nistelrooy was a central figure in Real Madrid’s two title-winning seasons in 2007 and 2008, but needed surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee late in 2008 that put him out for the rest of that campaign.

Hugely popular with Real fans, he returned to action at the start of the current season, but found his chances limited with the arrival of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, to bolster Real’s existing frontline of Gonzalo Higuain and Raul.

“Real’s behavior was super,” van Nistelrooy said. “They put no obstacles in my way.”

Van Nistelrooy is desperate to get matches under his belt, especially after falling down the pecking order at Real, as he eyes a spot in the Netherlands World Cup squad for this year’s finals.

“Ruud has shown his qualities at top international clubs,” Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia said. “I am convinced he will score important goals for Hamburg as well.”

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