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The midfielder is trying to get back on track after family issues and heaped praise on the German club for their support throughout all of his problems

Rafael van der Vaart says Hamburg are like a second family to him and is grateful for everything that they have done for him in recent times.

The attacking midfielder recently split from his wife Sylvie and the player wanted to thank everyone at the club for their support.

"I am very grateful to Hamburg. They help me whenever they can so I can concentrate on my job here. That feels good. Hamburg is my replacement family," he told Bild.

Goalkeeper Rene Adler added that although his team-mate is finding life difficult at the moment, playing football will be the perfect distraction for him.

"It is not an easy or enjoyable time for Rafa. The football here is a good distraction. He has our full support and we are there for him," he added.

Van der Vaart and Hamburg return to action on January 19 when they take on Nurnberg.

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