Van der Vaart: Real believe in my quality

Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has revealed his delight and relief that the Bernabeu outfit have decided to retain his services for the 2009/10 campaign.

The Dutch international has made 32 league appearances - netting five times - since joining the Madridistas last summer.

However, following the expensive acquisitions of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso, Real have been open to offers for Dutch sextuplet Van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Roysten Drenthe. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Klaas-Jan Huntleaar.

Huntelaar departed for AC Milan earlier this summer, while Sneijder and Robben eventually joined Inter Milan and Bayern Munich respectively.

A move also appeared inevitable for 26-year-old Van der Vaart, after he was not handed a squad number ahead of the new season.

As a result, Hamburg, Ajax, Inter Milan, Besiktas, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Arsenal were all linked with the midfielder, who has been capped 69 times by his country.

However, he will now not be joining any of them, with Sneijder and Robben's swift exits last week sparing the midfielder the chop.

"The club has assured me that they believe in my quality," he said in De Telegraaf.

"Real Madrid has never said it was a quality problem, but rather the new players. They appreciated my desire to play and they told me they need me.

"I can play an important role in this team."