Van der Vaart returns to Hamburg
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Hamburg today completed the signing of Rafael van der Vaart from Tottenham with the attacking midfielder returning to the club he represented between 2005 and 2008.

The deal, which has been partly financed by a local investor, went through this afternoon after the Holland international passed a medical and signed a three-year deal.

"I am delighted that Rafael van der Vaart will be playing for Hamburg again," said the Bundesliga club's coach Thorsten Fink on their website.

"He will be a strong addition to our team."

The deal was made possible by a local investor, who had also contributed to the transfers of Heiko Westermann, Marcell Hansen, Dennis Aogo, Dennis Diekmeier and Lennard Sowah to the northern Germany club.

This return to Hamburg is a dream come true for me and my family.
Rafael van der Vaart, Hamburg midfielder

Klaus-Michael Kuhne gave the Bundesliga club an interest-free loan to enable them to match Tottenham's asking price for the Dutchman.

"I am very proud that, with our combined efforts, we have been able to bring Rafael van der Vaart back to Hamburg," said Kuhne, after the transfer was given the green light by the club's board of directors. "I am certain that this can be the spark for a brighter future."

Hamburg started the season - their 50th consecutive year in the Bundesliga - with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nurnberg after being knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the first round.

This also convinced them to make an extra effort to sign Van Der Vaart, who was a big crowd favourite during his first spell at the club before moving to Real Madrid.

"In view of the sporting situation of the team and the perspectives, we came to the conclusion that we had to complete this transfer," read a statement from the club's board of directors. This was only possible thanks to the generous financial assistance of Klaus-Michael Kuhne.

Van der Vaart has signed a three-year deal with Hamburg and could make his debut in tomorrow's northern Germany derby against Werder Bremen.

"This return to Hamburg is a dream come true for me and my family," said the 29-year-old. "I owe Hamburg and Klaus-Michael Kuhne huge thanks. I am looking forward to three great years."