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Van der Vaart wants to lighten up

Hamburg skipper Rafael Van der Vaart has admitted he needs to get back in trim after returning from his summer holiday carrying a little extra weight.

The 30-year-old Netherlands international told German newspaper Bild: "I stepped on the scales - and jumped straight off again. But when you are on holiday for four, five weeks, it is good to savour it."

He said he would be targeting European football next season, explaining: "A club like HSV needs to play in Europe. Everything else is worthless."

Coach Thorsten Fink echoed his words, saying: "That's where we want to go," and added that he was not concerned about his captain's fitness, adding: "It's normal to gain some weight during holidays."

Meanwhile, new HSV signing Johan Djourou, on loan from Arsenal for a year, told Bild his motivation for moving to Hamburg was not financial. He added: "If it was, I would have been better staying at Arsenal.

"HSV is a big club with a lot of history. I know they have not been really successful in the last few years, but I think it is a good time to join them. HSV is the best option for me to reach my goals."

Sporting director Oliver Kreuzer has urged Malaga's Roque Santa Cruz to make up his mind whether he wants to join Hamburg.

"I told Roque's agent that he should make his decision by Wednesday", he told the Hamburger Morgenpost. "We need to know what's happening."

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