‘It’s always good to be home’, Lasse Schöne wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon. The Ajacied had just arrived in Copenhagen with his club. The Danish city is a scant half hour from where he grew up. A few hours later, together with his coach Peter Bosz, he was at Parken Stadium for the press conference prior to the European match against the local FC.
The game taking place in his homeland will mark the 30 year-old midfielder’s 44th European match. Schöne has scored eight times in these matches. Hopefully, he will add a ninth goal to his total on Thursday evening. That would be very special, since FC Copenhagen has not suffered a single goal against at home this season in European games.
Undefeated in Copenhagen
Historically, Ajax hasn’t performed to badly in Copenhagen, with a scoreless tie in 2001 and a 1-2 victory in 2006. But at home, Ajax floundered both times and Copenhagen is the team that eventually went through in both cases.
Often at press conferences, the player sitting at the table is somewhat subdued. Not Schöne. He received questions from the Danish press. For example: “What did you tell your team about Copenhagen?”. The midfielder answered: “We’re well prepared and we have a good impression of FCK. They’re very strong on defense. We need to play our own game and convert the opportunities we get.”
A funny moment ensued with Schöne, who was flanked by a Danish interpreter. The first time, the Ajacied said, smiling: ‘Yes, that’s right’, when his coach’s words were interpreted. But later on, smiling again, he subtly nuanced the interpreter’s translation of what he had said. “Otherwise, it sounds as though we are surprised that Copenhagen made it to this round. And that’s not the case.”
“When we heard that Copenhagen would be our next opponent, my phone was full of messages and missed calls. Copenhagen is the club that I supported when I was younger. And this will be the first serious match that I get to play against a Danish team. This is pretty special.”
This doesn’t mean that Schöne is any more motivated than usual. “Now, there will be many more people I know watching in the stands, people who usually don’t get to see me play. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be extra motivated, because I always do my best.”