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Dutch star keeping Real in title hunt

sports Updated: Mar 23, 2009 07:21 IST
Football Dutch star keeping Real in title hunt

After a slow start Dutch international forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is starting to make a name for himself at Real Madrid and bagged a brace in a 3-0 win over Almeria at the weekend to make it eight goals in six games.

Huntelaar was signed by former coach Bernd Schuster for 20 million euros from Ajax over the festive period and it has proved a great leaving present for current manager Juande Ramos.

'The Hunter' has shown a midas touch in front of goal with some lethal finishing and Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain has subsequently found himself warming the substitutes bench.

"I am happy to continue scoring although it is more important that the team wins," explained Huntelaar. "We have so much quality in this Real team that anyone can score.

"Today Marcelo and I scored but the next time it could be someone else such is the quality in this side.

"Right now, I feel great at Real Madrid. I am a little happier every day for living here and playing at the best club in the world."

Huntelaar has scored eight goals in 11 games and is Real's lucky omen with the team never tasting defeat with him in the side, winning 10 and drawing once.

The Dutchman was cup-tied for the two Champions League defeats to Liverpool at the last 16 round with Ramos preferring French midfielder Lass Diarra for the squad.

Huntelaar expressed his disappointment at missing out but has knuckled down to make himself indispensable.

Comparisons have been made with compatriot and Real team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy - out injured for the season - and Rafael van der Vaart believes there are similarities.

"He is in excellent form and is a real predator," lauded van der Vaart. "He is similar to van Nistelrooy and with him out injured Huntelaar is someone to rely on to get goals."

There has been talk of a rift between Huntelaar and Dutch team-mate Arjen Robben - the two reportedly exchanged some choice words in the 5-2 win against Athletic Bilbao last weekend - but Huntelaar played down the dispute.

"It was just a misunderstanding and there is no problem between us," maintained Huntelaar. "Sometimes things happen on the pitch but they stay out there on the pitch. We have got on well for a long time."

Despite Huntelaar's heroics, Real trail Barcelona, who crushed Malaga 6-0 on Sunday, by six points in the title race with ten games left to go.