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Van der Vaart “almost certainly” Real´s only recruit: president

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Aug 2008

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Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart will “almost certainly” be Real Madrid's only new signing of the season, the president of the Spanish champions, Ramon Calderon, said Tuesday.

“Rafael van der Vaart is the first recruit of this year and he will almost certainly be the only one,” Calderon said during the 25-year-old's official unveiling at Real Madrid's Santiago-Bernabeu stadium.

His comments come amidst growing signs that Real Madrid's bid to recruit Manchester United's Portuguese international winger Cristiano Ronaldo have stalled due to the English side's refusal to sell the 23-year-old player.

Van der Vaart, whose mother is Spanish, signed with Real for five seasons in a deal reportedly worth 13 million euros (20 million dollars).

“This is a family dream. I want to win many trophies,” said van der Vaart who becomes Real's fifth Dutch player, the others being Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Royston Drenthe.

Real signed Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay from Racing Santander at the end of the season but under the terms of the deal the player will only join the club in the 2009-10 season.

In addition midfielders Javi Garcia and Ruben de la Red, who helped Spain win the Euro 2008 title in June, have rejoined Real after a season with Osasuna and Getafe respectively.

Calderon, who has repeatedly said he would like to sign Ronaldo, said at the end of the season that there would be “few new recruits but very good ones”.

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.

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