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Marcotti's Musings
By ESPN Staff

Van Der Vaart may be only signing - Calderon

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has revealed new arrival Rafael van der Vaart is the 'first and possibly only signing this summer'.

Holland international Van der Vaart was unveiled as a Madrid player on Tuesday, signing a five-year contract at the Bernabeu after a summer-long chase by the Spanish champions.

Last month Madrid coach Bernd Schuster bemoaned his club's lack of activity in the transfer market, claiming the players were becoming unsettled by the situation.

Tuesday's announcement suggests Calderon is losing confidence in his side's chances of signing Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been the only other player strongly linked with a summer move to the club.

Instead, the Real president believes the squad is competitive enough as it is.

'Rafael van der Vaart is the first and possibly the only signing of the summer for Real Madrid,' Calderon announced at the 25-year-old's official presentation.

'We believe that this squad is full of quality, of plenty of talent. It's a team which is a great family, very close.

'We said that the new arrivals would be few but of great quality. That seemed logical after two successful seasons in which we've brought in 19 young, promising players.

'This (the low number of signings) was a request of the board of directors.'

Van der Vaart himself was asked to comment on the possible arrival of United star Ronaldo, but was reluctant to respond.

'Ronaldo is a fantastic player, one of the best in the world,' he said.

'If he came it would be great, of course. But out of respect I can't say anything more about this matter.'

Rather than focus on Ronaldo, Van der Vaart preferred to concentrate on the competition offered by the players already at the Bernabeu.

'All the players here are great players, so there'll be no problems,' he continued.

'I can play in different positions, but it's up to the coach to decide who plays.

'I can play behind the forward or on the left-hand side of the attack, so there's plenty of options.'

Above all, Van der Vaart was keen to stress his delight at having finally made his move to the Spanish capital after months of speculation.

'I'm very excited to be here. My family are especially excited because they are from Spain,' he continued.

'I think that this is one of the biggest clubs in the world so I'm very happy.

'Last year Valencia wanted me and they are a fantastic club. But this year things are different, and Madrid have come for me.'

Van der Vaart also revealed he had spoken to his international and now club team-mate Wesley Sneijder after the midfielder was ruled out for three months on Monday with a knee injury.

'I've been in contact with Wesley. It's been very difficult for him,' he said.

'These things happen sometimes in football. It was a shame because he was very down and I was very happy (about signing).

'But he won't be injured for as long as he thought so we're both glad.'


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