I'm Real nervous, admits Van Nistelrooy

July 29, 2006

Ruud van Nistelrooy insists he is looking to the future after leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid - but refused to claim he was more likely to win the Champions League with his new club than he had been at Old Trafford.

Van Nistelrooy, who has cost Real around £10.5million, ended a five-year stay with United after falling out with boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 30-year-old Dutchman never won the Champions League with United whose most recent triumph in that competition came in 1999 when the Dutchman was a PSV Eindhoven player.

Van Nistelrooy, as he was unveiled as a Real Madrid player yesterday, refused to boast that he was more likely to win the competition with his new club.

'That's a very difficult question to answer,' said Van Nistelrooy. 'I think Real Madrid are a fantastic team, a fantastic squad.

'But favouritism is something you have to earn on the pitch. We have to go step by step on the pitch and not speak much about it.'

Van Nistelrooy, also courted by Bayern Munich, admitted his head was still in a whirl after the events.

'You have to bear in mind that a lot has happened in the last 24 hours which have been very intense for me,' said Van Nistelrooy.

'When president (Real president Ramon) Calderon presented me to the media and the fans I was a bit nervous, I admit it.

'But it was a great feeling for me to go to the dressing room and finally put on the Real Madrid shirt. It was nice to have a few kicks of the ball as well.

'For a striker there is nothing better than scoring goals,' said the Dutchman. 'It's my ambition and my job.'

Real had been locked in a tussle with German champions Bayern Munich for Van Nistelrooy's signature.

'But I am not going to put a figure on how many goals I am going to score in a season.

'This is a new opportunity for me to show my ability to the maximum and that's what my challenge is.'

Real eventually beat German champions Bayern Munich to the signature of the Dutchman whose relationship with Ferguson started to deteriorate when he was left out of the Carling Cup final side.

Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge lamented the fact that his side had been beaten to Van Nistelrooy's signature by Real.

'Not just Bayern, but the whole of the Bundesliga would have benefited from this transfer,' Rummenigge told Sport1.de. 'It's a real shame.'

Van Nistelrooy's move draws a line over his bust-up with Sir Alex and while the Dutchman admitted his fall-out with his former boss had been `painful' he nonetheless remembered the good days.

'He (Ferguson) waited for me during my injury and allowed me to play at the highest level.

'I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the manager yesterday because when I left the training ground in Manchester yesterday afternoon the deal had not yet been completed but I'm sure I'll meet him again.'

Van Nistelrooy used his press conference to deny reports he had fallen out with Holland coach Marco van Basten who dropped him during the World Cup when the Oranje were eliminated at the last 16 stage by Portugal.

'In 1988 when Holland won the European Championship with Van Basten I was 12 years old and he was my idol,' said Van Nistelrooy.

'I want to clarify there has been no split with Van Basten. He left me out for a match. Afterwards we had a conversation but nothing more than that.'

When Van Nistelrooy was presented with his shirt he was not allocated with a number.

'I am just happy to be wearing the white jersey,' said the Holland international. 'The number is not important and I will accept whatever number the club wants to give me.'