Maxwell wants to give the fans happy memories

Good memories fade fast. That is why Maxwell wants to make sure the fans will have even better memories of Ajax after this season. The Brazilian will, together with his team mates, try to play nicer football, get to the second round of the Champions League and win as many trophies as possible. For the gracious midfielder that means hard work, both for himself and the team.

Maxwell is feeling fine. He is stronger than last year, both physically and mentally. At the beginning of 2002 he was dealt a blow when his brother died in a car accident. The loss still hurts. ,,But my friends and family support me. My parents are here now. They stay here for three months each time. At the end of September they go to Brazil for a while and then they come back to Holland. My older brother still lives in Brazil. Of course I want him to come here, but it is important for him to keep working. It helps him forget. I also put everything in my work. Despite everything I enjoy life. I must also be strong for my parents.’’

Several months after his brother’s tragic death, Maxwell’s football career gained momentum. With Ajax he competed for all the top prizes and he was invited to the Brazilian national youth team, that took part in a prestigious international tournament in Lyon. ,,First I had to play the cup final with Ajax. Only then I could travel to France. Naturally I was very happy to be invited. I did not play, but it was important to be present there. I got to meet the other guys and support them. It was good that Walker (fellow Ajax player and friend of Maxwell’s) was there too. It made my arrival in the group easier.’’

It seems that life with Ajax has also become easier for the Brazilian. He has cast off his diffidence and it appears that under his shyness a creative southpaw was hiding. ,,I know the players better, so I can put all my energy into my development as a player. I feel more confident and I am stronger. Everyone tries to help me and I am much more susceptible to that than last year. This season I have to play better and grow as a player. We have a tough season ahead of us.’’

Last season was also tough, but in the end Ajax was in first place and won the cup. ,,It was fantastic, incredible. Very special. Everybody was so happy, it was one big party.’’

Was Maxwell also happy when Richard Witschge returned to Ajax and thus became a direct competitor for his spot? ,,Witschge’s return is very good for the team. We play a lot of matches and then it is good to have two players for each position. That competition is important. Richard is very experienced and he can teach me a lot. He wants to help too. We may compete for the same place, but him helping me is not strange. You shouldn’t think about yourself. The team comes first. It works the other way around as well. If I could help him with something, I would do it.’’

Maxwell can use help when Ajax starts playing in the Champions League. ,,To play in that competition is a dream come true. Wonderful. Of course I don’t know if I’ll start in those matches as well. That is not up to me. We cannot decide who we play either. But I am ready. I’m fit, I’m happy and we have played well against Manchester United and Barcelona. I don’t care that millions of people watch these matches. For me, there are 22 players that are important. That’s all.’’

After the success of the Amsterdam Tournament there was the match for the Johan Cruijff Shield. ,,I had never heard of that prize. Two days before the match I learned that I would start. It was good to win the first Classic. There was a positive atmosphere in the stadium. The crowd was more quiet when we played Utrecht. They are a tough side. Utrecht keep on running and fighting. The supporters were waiting for our reaction. I understand why they were more quiet.’’

Maxwell has set his goals high for the season: ,, No-one will remember last year’s prizes if we perform badly this season.. We will have to do even better.’’