Soccer-Dutch defender Heitinga joins Hertha Berlin


June 23 (Reuters) - Hertha Berlin have signed Dutch centre-back John Heitinga on a free transfer from Fulham, the Bundesliga club said on Monday.

Heitinga, who has won 87 caps for his country, agreed a two-year deal.

"I was desperate to play in the Bundesliga, that's why I'm really looking forward to playing for Hertha," the 30-year-old said on the Bundlesliga website (

Sporting director Michael Preetz said: "John Heitinga is a defender with international experience, from whom our younger players in particular will learn a lot."

Heitinga began his career with Ajax in 2001, before moves to Atletico Madrid and Everton.

He joined Fulham on a free transfer in January this year and played 14 times for the Cottagers before they were relegated to the Championship.

(Writing by Stephen Wood; editing by Clare Lovell)

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