Monday, August 31, 2009


Official: Rafael Van der Vaart Staying With Real

It's a big surprise but the Dutch playmaker has been urged to stay with Real Madrid for the upcoming

Spanish giants Real Madrid have opted to keep Rafael van der Vaart after the Dutch midfielder was told by the club that his services were required for the new season, according to Sky Sports .

With the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Xabi Alonso at the Bernabeu, van der Vaart was told that he could leave the club, and he did not feature in any of the team's pre-season games.

But with the recent departure of Dutch duo Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder to new pastures, Los Blancos have managed to cut their squad down to 25 players.

Van der Vaart and his lawyer, Robert Geerlings, held a successful meeting with coach Manuel Pellegrini, technical director Jorge Valdano, and general director Jose Angel Sans, where the club asked Van der Vaart to remain with Madrid for the upcoming season.

Speaking to Dutch magazine Voetbal International, Robert Geerlings said, "At the meeting, Rafael was urgently asked to stay at Real.

"The squad has been decreased to 25 players and that made [the club] decide that Rafa doesn't have to leave anymore. For us, it was surprising, and Rafael has decided to fight for his place in Madrid."

Van der Vaart was reported to have rejected a move to Besiktas earlier this month, and has also received two concrete offers from Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

As a show of confidence, Real Madrid have given back the No. 23 shirt to its rightful owner. Van der Vaart will return to training with the squad on Tuesday.

"It's official, Rafael will stay with Real," concluded Geerlings.

Van der Vaart is capable of playing 'in-the-hole', a position assumed by Kaka at the moment, and will meet tough competition by Esteban Granero for a starting berth in the Madrid midfield.

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