BERLIN Aug 31 Dutch international Rafael van
der Vaart gave troubled Hamburg SV a much-needed boost on Friday
after he left Tottenham Hotspur to return to the Bundesliga
The 29-year-old midfielder previously played at Hamburg from
2005 to 2008 before leaving to spend two seasons each at Real
Madrid and Tottenham.
"I'm enthusiastic that Rafael van der Vaart is playing for
HSV again," said Thorsten Fink, favourite to be the first coach
to lose his job in the Bundesliga this season. "He will be an
important reinforcement for our team."
Van der Vaart, a regular with the Dutch national team for a
decade, said on the club's website (www.hsv.de): "This is a
dream for me and my family. I'm looking forward to three great
Having finished third, seventh and fourth in the three years
Van der Vaart played for them, Hamburg, the only ever-present
side in the Bundesliga's 50-season history, narrowly avoided
relegation last season as they finished 15th.
They have also made a poor start this term, losing at home
to Nuremberg in their Bundesliga opener on Saturday and getting
knocked out of the German Cup by third tier Karlsruher the week
The news came hours after Van der Vaart was dropped from the
Dutch squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Turkey
and Hungary, with coach Louis van Gaal saying he had not played
enough club football recently.
(Reporting By Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)