Van Marwijk: Van der Vaart taking big risk

Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has been warned by Dutch national coach Bert van Marwijk that he his putting his 2010 World Cup place in jeopardy by staying at the Bernabeu this season.

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 were 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, Sneijder and Robben's swift exits last week spared the midfielder the chop.

But national coach Van Marwijk believes that, in staying at Real, Van der Vaart is unlikely to be a first-team regular and therefore is harming his chances of being picked for next summer's global showpiece in South Africa.

"He's taken a big risk," he said in De Telegraaf.

"Though Rafael has had signs he will play, nothing can be guaranteed after what went on in pre-season.

"He's made his choice, but will he play in his favoured position?

"He is just one more player there."