Ajax trained in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Monday evening. The same eighteen players who defeated PSV and Roda JC underwent a practice leading up to the last UEFA Champions League group match. A spot in the Europa League is at stake for Ajax. Members of the Spanish press enjoyed themselves with a few prominent Ajax players in the Real Madrid stadium.
At four minutes before seven o’clock, applause broke out from the stands of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Ajax’s arrival was met enthusiastically by some of the 600 Ajax fans who will support their team on Tuesday evening from the visitors’ stands. The great win against PSV was obviously still on their minds, and a fantastic night of football is very likely in the cards for Tuesday evening in the Spanish capital. Days before a European match, hopes and expectations always lend a special atmosphere to the evening in question. It was no different on Monday evening.
The expression on Viktor Fischer’s face when he looked at the screens in the corner of the stadium was one full of expectation. The 18 year old Dane has already gathered some impressive experiences during his young football life. But the view from Bernabéu is obviously very special. Danny Hoesen also looked around with visible pleasure, taking in the stadium in which he just may see action on Tuesday evening.
In addition to the eighteen players on the field, there was also some activity in the blue stands for the fans and Spanish media to enjoy. Sjaak Swart, John Rep and Ajax’s new marketing director Edwin van der Sar were warmly greeted in Madrid, where the temperatures were chilly. Ronald de Boer also gathered some attention during the training. The Ajax coach’s twin brother was a popular conversation partner for the Spanish media. The same can be said of Van der Sar, who, in addition to Ajax TV, also spoke to Real Madrid TV. And just like De Boer, ‘Sar’ reminisced about November 22, 1995, the evening during which Ajax defeated Real Madrid on their home turf, 0-2. Will December 4, 2012, go down in history the same way?