Van de Vaart returns to Hamburg

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HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -Netherlands international Rafael van der Vaart is returning to Hamburger SV, one of his former clubs, from Tottenham.

Hamburg announced Friday that it had signed the 29-year-old midfielder on a three-year contract.

Van der Vaart previously played for Hamburg from 2005-08 before moving to Real Madrid. He struggled to establish himself at Madrid and moved to Tottenham two years later.

Hamburg is the only club never to be relegated in the 50-year history of the Bundesliga, but it made a poor start to the season, losing the opener at home to Nuremberg.

Earlier Friday, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal left out van der Vaart from the squad to play Turkey and Hungary in the country's opening World Cup qualifiers.

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