Ruud van Nistelrooy was the toast of Hamburg after his first two goals for his new club on Saturday secured them an important 3-1 away win over Stuttgart.
The Dutchman came on as a second half substitute and, a little over ten minutes later, he found the back of the net twice to settle the encounter and confirm why Hamburg made him one of the top earners in the Bundesliga.
“For Ruud to score twice straight after coming on is extraordinary,” said coach Bruno Labbadia. “But we know how strong he is in the penalty area. And he has proven that impressively.”
Stuttgart coach Christian Gross acknowledged that Van Nistelrooy had been “decisive” in his first defeat since taking over as coach last December.
Van Nistelrooy was delighted with the start he has made to life with Hamburg.
“These two goals are fantastic for me but above all they are important for the team,” he said. “It was 1-1 and we really wanted to win this game. Therefore, I kept looking at the clock and when I was brought on, I knew that I had to do something about it. This victory will give us further motivation for the coming weeks.”
The result allowed Hamburg to move within three points of third-placed Schalke and strengthens their challenge for a place in Europe next season.