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Van der Vaart deal 'ends Ron saga'

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FOOTBALL 2008-2009 Van der Vaart, presentado como nuevo jugador del Real Madrid

Image credit: EFE

ByReuters
05/08/2008 at 12:24

Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has completed his move from Hamburg to Real Madrid, with both Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Real president Ramon Calderon indicating that the deal ends Cristiano Ronaldo's chances of a move to Spain.

Portugal international Ronaldo has been the subject of intense speculation over a move from the European champions to Madrid all summer long, with United even reporting the Spanish giants to FIFA over their courting of the player.

However, just hours after Van der Vaart's move was sealed, Ferguson said: "The matter is closed now.

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"He [Ronaldo] is a Manchester United player, it's finished. He is going to play here, believe me."

At the press conference announcing the signing, Calderon said: "He [Van der Vaart] is the first and almost certainly the last signing we will make this season."

Netherlands international Van der Vaart arrived in Madrid to undergo a medical and sign a five-year contract at the Bernabeu.

The 25-year-old insists he is prepared for the competition for places in the side.

"I will fight for a place in the team, but Madrid has many stars and if I end up on the bench that won't be a problem," he told Spanish newspaper Marca.

"Madrid has one objective this season: to win the Champions League. I can help them. The important thing is to play."

Calderon heaped praise on the Dutchman as the player was unveiled, saying: "Rafael van der Vaart is a player of great quality, vision and talent.

"We are certain that he will be a player who will help us complement the already very strong squad we have."

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