After doing an outstanding job to qualify for the Champions League tournament, Martin Jol saw his team get placed with AC Milan and Real Madrid. Ajax’s coach calls it a ‘very good pool’, and his goal is to make it to the winter break. “It’s just a shame that we will meet Auxerre.”
After years of absence from the Champions League, Ajax already feels right at home again. “It’s a very good pool”, said Martin Jol after the draw. “Especially if your standpoint is that you don’t need to win the tournament. And we should be realistic: Ajax doesn’t need to. AC Milan and Real Madrid are definitely tough opponents, but the games will make great billboards. There are Dutch players with the opponents, and Milan and Real are part of football royalty.”
But there’s one big disadvantage to the draw: “It’s just a shame that we drew Auxerre. I would have preferred another club. But we need to manage. Our goal is to make it through the winter break. Third place is enough for that, assuming that Madrid and Milan will be in the first two spots. In that case, we’ll need to battle it out with Auxerre. And that will be tough, because they were second in the French competition. And the French league is stronger than the Dutch Eredivisie.”
Jol continues: “In some respects, another pool may have been better, but there are several great things about our group. We have two title favourites, which means we’ll have matches against some great opponents for our supporters to enjoy. And it’s fantastic for the players to play against such amazing clubs at this level. It will be a great learning experience.”
Ajax is doing its best to be able to start ticket sales on Saturday for season ticket holders. Stay tuned to Ajax.nl for more information.