15 years in the ArenA: Musampa cherishes goal

15 years in the ArenA: Musampa cherishes goal

The Amsterdam ArenA celebrates 15 years of existence on Sunday, August 14. Ajax.nl goes back in time this week to look back on several memorable moments from 1996 to 2011. In this edition: Kiki Musampa. On August 21 1996, he scored the first Ajax goal in the ArenA against NAC Breda.

Musampa seems surprised to hear that it’s the Amsterdam ArenA’s anniversary. “Has it really been that long?” says the 34 year old former Ajax player as the year 1996 is brought up. “I am often reminded that I scored that historic goal, but it doesn’t seem like that was 15 years ago. It’s now almost literally a historic goal.”

The name Musampa will always be linked to the ArenA. On August 21, 1996, one week after the official opening, he was the first Ajax player to score in Ajax’s new stadium. “After that goal, I mostly remember the lead up to that much-awaited goal. The tension was growing because it took so long for Ajax to finally score a goal in their own stadium.” One week earlier, during the official opening match against AC Milan (0-3), Dejan Savićević had the honour of scoring the first goal in the ArenA. Four days later, Ajax lost in the ArenA to PSV 3-0 in the match for the Johan Cruijff Plate. It lasted until the 81st minute in the Ajax – NAC competition match before the 50.000 Ajax supporters could cheer. On Nordin Wooter’s pass, Musampa made good with a shot from his left foot.

Many years and goals later, Ajax’s former midfielder still follows the team intensively. “I was happy with Ajax’s championship last season. The third star was bound to come. I’m also going to go to the ArenA regularly this season to watch games” , says Musampa, who was also in action briefly in Amsterdam during Edwin van der Sar’s farewell match.

He had his most successful years in Amsterdam. In 1995, we won everything there was to win with Ajax. In addition to the national title and the Johan Cruijff Plate, he also won the Champions League, European Supercup and the World Cup. One year later, he became champion with Ajax once again. Musampa left in 1997 for Girondins de Bordeaux. After that, he started a journey through many football clubs. In ten years, he played for Málaga CF, Atlético Madrid, Manchester City, Trabzonspor, AZ, FC Seoul and Willem II. With that last club, he returned to the ArenA for the first time wearing a different jersey in 2009. It was a match with bitter memories, as Willem II lost 7-0 that afternoon in the stadium where Musampa had once scored Ajax’s very first goal.

Musampa has since retired. He’s now working on several (social work) projects. Masters of the Game, FC New Amsterdam, and Studio Noach take up most of his time. “I was involved with them as a player, but now that I’ve retired, I’m spending more and more time with these activities.”