Van Nistelrooy makes Hamburg switch
Ruud van Nistelrooy has joined Hamburg on a one-and-a-half-year contract from Real Madrid, the German club have announced. Van Nistelrooy has been linked with a host of clubs recently in a bid to secure more playing time, with West Ham united and Tottenham Hotspur just two of the clubs that were interested in the former Manchester United striker.
And Hamburg have confirmed they have won the race to sign the Holland international. Coach Bruno Labbadia was delighted to have secured the services of the prolific Dutchman.
He said: "Ruud has proven his qualities impressively at some of Europe's top clubs. I am convinced that he will also score some important goals for HSV. It just emphasises the reputation of our club that a player like Ruud van Nistelrooy decides to join Hamburg."
Van Nistelrooy was equally thrilled to have become a Hamburg player.
"I am really happy that it has worked out," he said. "I am also looking forward to Monday when I come to Hamburg. I had great talks with both [Hamburg president] Bernd Hoffmann and Bruno Labbadia and had a very positive impression from the very beginning. HSV is a great club with a strong team and big ambitions. I also have big ambitions."
The 33-year-old finished as the leading scorer in La Liga during his first season with Madrid in 2006/07, but the latter part of his time with the Spanish club has been plagued by injuries and he has managed just a handful of appearances this term, including only one in the league. But Van Nistelrooy will leave the Bernabeu with nothing but good things to say about his treatment in the Spanish capital.
"I have got to say that Real have behaved really well," he said. "The management have not put any obstacles in my way. I think a video will be shown before the game [tomorrow] and then I will do a lap of honour. I really had a fantastic time in Madrid."
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp acknowledged yesterday the player's salary meant he was unlikely to move to White Hart Lane.
"We don't pay those type of wages here,'' said Redknapp. "Daniel [Levy], the chairman here, runs a good business and wouldn't be paying that sort of money.
"It would break our wage structure by an awful long way. He's probably worth it and is probably earning an awful lot more at Real Madrid. He's been a great player and could still be that for someone."
Drawn to the Bundesliga
Looking ahead to his new challenge, Van Nistelrooy added: "I have been training individually in Madrid lately. I think I will have a bit of catching up to do in Hamburg this week. Then I would like to train with the team as quickly as possible, get to know everybody and play as many games as possible with the team.
"I have always been attracted to the Bundesliga and that was also a reason for me to make this move. The league is, along with the English and the Spanish, one of the best. There are plenty of strong teams and great stadia. The games are nearly always sold out. ," he said. "As a small child, I used to always watch the weekend highlights programme on the television and followed the Bundesliga from an early age."