"Dream debut" for Van der Vaart
Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart celebrated a "dream debut" with Real Madrid, having contributed one of the Spanish champions' goals in their 2-1 friendly win over Colombian side Santa Fe.
"I am very happy because during my first match I scored a goal and my team achieved a very important victory," he said in comments published Saturday on the club's web site.
"You are always a bit nervous at the beginning, especially because it is your start with a new club but after the goal everything was much better. It was a dream debut in a very difficult match," he added.
Van der Vaart, who completed his move from German side Hamburg on Tuesday, made his goal scoring debut in a 74th minute free-kick on Friday in Bogota. He then went on to provide the assist for Pepe's winner.
The 25-year-old, whose mother is Spanish, signed with Real for five seasons in a deal reportedly worth 13 million euros (20 million dollars). Van der Vaart, who has won over 50 caps for his country and scored 12 goals, joined Hamburg in 2005, scoring 29 goals in 74 Bundesliga matches.