Ajax was warmly received on Thursday evening at head sponsor AEGON’s headquarters in The Hague. The entire staff and selection was in the capital to show the trophy to AEGON’s employees. Because Ajax prolonged its championship reign on Wednesday, last year’s visit to AEGON was repeated again this year.
After master of ceremonies Wim Bohnenn addressed the gathered employees at 2p.m., the technical staff and selection took the stage. This was followed by a speech from the chairman of the board of directors, Alex Wynaendts, who addressed Ajax. “I would like to thank you and ask everyone to give a warm applause for the champion of the Netherlands”, opened the chairman. “You have won this title thanks to your strength, character, vision and trust, and you’re thus an example for us all.” As a cherry on the cake, Wynaendts sang the praises of coach Frank de Boer. “This wouldn’t have been possible without you, we’re proud of you.”
After that, several youthful visitors had the opportunity to ask the players some questions. “If you could be anyone, who would it be?” is the question for Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian thinks aloud and answers: “I would love to score in a championship match, so I’d like to be Siem de Jong”, he says, referring to his team mate who, just like he had done last season, scored twice in the championship match.
Finally, the players leave at around 3.15p.m. for another room, in order to sign autographs. Several fans ask to take photographs, and some Ajax players have a hard time hiding their lack of sleep.
“I think we left the ArenA at midnight”, said André Ooijer. “After that, we celebrated near Rembrandtplein.” The 37 year old veteran had enjoyed himself royally on field earlier. “This was something to experience”, he said. “Jan gave me the captain’s band, Toby took a bow at the substitution and the players took me on their shoulders. That was all unexpected.”
After that, the selection left for the Museumbar, where they were reunited with the technical staff who had stayed behind on the stage, and posed with the AEGON employees.
Soon after, it’s time to leave, and the newly crowned champions prepare for the return trip to Amsterdam where the official celebration will take place in the ArenaPark. Conclusion: Ajax can be happy with AEGON, and vice versa!