After Angelos Charisteas had been introduced to his new teammates on the first training day after the winter break, Ajax presented him to the press. The Greek striker, winner of Euro 2004 in Portugal, politely answered all the questions. ,,But I want my actions on the pitch to speak for me. There I want to show what I can do.''
Before the official presentation, managing director Arie van Eijden and coach Ronald Koeman wished all present a good and healthy 2005. Both spared a thought for the recent events in Asia.
After that Angelos Charisteas was presented. A little later than planned. ,,Angelos is very quick, he was already missing", Van Eijden explaiend the slight delay. ,,I hope the defenders can't find him either. He is the striker we were waiting for.''
Ronald Koeman said to be very happy with the arrival of Charisteas. ,,We have been looking for a number 9 for months, ever since Zlatan left. Although Angelos Charisteas did not play much at Werder Bremen, we think he is a valuable acquisition for Ajax. Bremen play a very different game than we do. When you go scouting, you watch what the striker does when his team has the ball. We liked what we saw. Apart from for Werder Bremen, we also saw him play for the national team of Greece. He has good technical qualities and is a good header of the ball. And he knows what it is like to play with three men up front, because Greece do play that way.''
Charisteas confirmed that. ,,Since three years we have played with three guys up front with Greece. Ever since Otto Rehagel became the coach. I know I haven't played much at Werder Bremen, but I am 24 years old, a professional and an international player. I can handle the pressure that comes with playing here. Euro 2004 in Portugal was also important. There I showed what I can do. I will show what I can do on the pitch. Of course Ajax play a different style, but I have time to learn that.''
An Ajax striker has to meet many requirements. Koeman: ,,The past has proven that finding an Ajax striker is difficult. We expect a lot from him. He has to score goals, be ready to get the ball and look out for the third man." The preparation for the second half of the season will mainly be used to let the other players get used to Charisteas and the way in which to play with him. ,,He will need somebody to play close to him", said Koeman.
The tall Greek also explained why he chose Ajax. ,,Ajax is a top club. The stadium is great and I think I can win titles with the club. I am not going to say how many goals I will make. That is not the most important thing. That is winning.''
It must have sounded like music to the ears of Koeman and Van Eijden. After the presentation, coach and player rushed to the training grounds, for the first practice session of 2005.