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John Heitinga: My Everton FC move has boosted my World Cup chances
Published : 20 Nov 2009 09:00:00
Johnny Heitinga JOHN Heitinga today said a move to Everton has boosted his World Cup chances - and revelaed he wants to make a centre back role at Goodison his own. Heitinga arrived from Atletico Madrid for £6.2m shortly before the summer transfer window deadline in September. The 26-year-old was absent from Holland's squad for the World Cup qualifiers in September but has since regained his place in the Dutch set-up and played in this week's goalless friendly draws against Italy and Paraguay. And the Dutchman is pleased Everton rescued him from the turmoil that is currently engulfing former club Atletico, who are already out of the Champions League, struggling in La Liga and are on their second manager this season. "I'm happy I left Atletico Madrid," said Heitinga. "Look at the quality players they have and also look at their current position in the table. It speaks volumes. "If I had stayed with Atletico Madrid, I would now have worked with the third manager in one and a half years. Things are never stable at the club and it quite clear that the problems are not only to be found on the pitch. "The level of football may be higher in Spain, yet I think the English style of play fits me better. The tempo is high." Holland were one of the first countries to win through to next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa. And Heitinga added: "My aim is to play in the World Cup and I will do my utmost to realise my dreams. Bert Van Marwijk, the Holland coach, played me at centre-back in recent international friendlies against Australia, Italy and Paraguay. "I think I did pretty well but as a players you should never be complacent. There's always room for improvement."