Looking back at the 3-0 defeat against PSV, Klaassen said "the first two days it was mainly disappointment, but now it's hunger. It is vital that we come together as a team and draw motivation from the chance to win a trophy. A year without winning the league is bad, but a year without winning anything is even worse."
The real prize
Ajax eliminated FC Twente and Feyenoord, among others, en route to the cup final. "Those were tough games. It's where we showed them what we are capable of, and that's what we need to demonstrate every week. That is something we need to keep hold of, but it doesn't come naturally." Klaassen does not see the cup tournament as a consolation prize. "Since coming back to Ajax, I see it as the real prize."
"We should never have lost that one", Klaassen continues, referring to last year's defeat in the cup final against PSV. "Some of it was bad luck, but in reality we just gave it away. It's painful seeing it all replayed again, because there was so no need. The lads who were there last year all feel the same way."
The midfielder played for Ajax in the 2021 Dutch cup victory over Vitesse. "Ultimately, it's about winning, that's what you play for. I remember being really delighted because I would have been so gutted if we didn't win. It's pretty unique to play in a cup final in a stadium half-filled with Ajax supporters. I want to hold that cup up high, this is why we do this", concludes the Ajax player.
Babangida star of Dutch Cup final 1998: 'It wasn't a typical Babangida goal'
He became a crowd favourite within one season: Tijjani Babangida. The swinging winger from Nigeria was part of the successful Ajax that won the Eredivisie in 1998 and won the Dutch Cup against PSV 5-0. "They were good, but we were even better."