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Rafael says Spurs are 'beautiful'

Rafael van der Vaart has described Tottenham as "a beautiful club" after completing his £8m move from Real Madrid yesterday.

The 27-year-old (pictured) was in as much of a daze as Spurs fans after the Premier League sanctioned his whirlwind transfer from Real Madrid with hours to spare before Tuesday's transfer window cut-off.

Van der Vaart, deemed surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu, said: "Four years at Spurs, for $11m, I can hardly believe it myself. The interest from Tottenham came very quick and I did not have much time to think.

"But I want to play football again and if possible every week, with a beautiful club. I'm totally happy. I am excited about playing in England. Whether it suits my style remains to be seen, but I think a good footballer can adapt and I am very proud of this transfer."

Spurs had been sweating on clearance to bring the Holland midfielder to White Hart Lane after technical difficulties hampered their efforts to submit the relevant paperwork for the signing before Tuesday's 6pm transfer window deadline.

But after investigating the club's claims that there were difficulties involving computer servers used in the transaction between themselves and Madrid, the Premier League yesterday ratified the Dutchman's move.

That allowed Tottenham to announce the signing less than two hours before top-flight clubs had to submit their 25-man squads for the first half of the league season. Manager Harry Redknapp had claimed Van der Vaart had been set to join Bayern Munich for £18m on Monday until the move broke down. However, that was categorically denied yesterday by Madrid.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Woodgate failed to make Tottenham's 25-man squad yesterday.

Redknapp decided to omit the injury-plagued defender, who he recently revealed was fighting to save his career. Also left out was goalkeeper Ben Alnwick, with new loan signing Stipe Pletikosa now providing back-up to Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini.


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