BERLIN, Jan 23, 2010 (AFP) - Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy signed an 18-month contract on Saturday with Bundesliga side Hamburg having left Spanish giants Real Madrid on a free transfer.
His new club announced the news on Saturday night, after Hamburg's 1-0 defeat at Dortmund which left Bruno Labbadia's side fifth in the table, and the 33-year-old Dutchman has signed a contract until June 2011.
"I am really very happy that everything is in place and I look forward to coming to Hamburg on Monday," said the Dutchman, who will officially be unveiled by Hamburg at the start of next week.
"Hamburg are a great team with a strong squad and large ambitions, which I also have."
The Dutchman and former Manchester United ace has scored 46 goals in 68 league games for Real, but has struggled to make the team this season because of injury.
He retired from international football after Holland were knocked out of Euro 2008 by Russia in the quarter-finals.
Van Nistelrooy was the Champions League's top-scorer in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and has scored 49 goals in 64 appearances in European football's most lucrative competition.
He is the only player to have been the top-scorer in the Spanish, English and Dutch leagues.
"Ruud has proved his qualities with one of the top international clubs," said Labbadia.
"I am convinced that he will shoot important goals for Hamburg.
"It shows this club's standing that a player of Ruud van Nistelrooy's caliber would choose to come to Hamburg."