Bruno Silva was in a good mood on Monday. The right back’s home country, Uruguay, won the Copa América on Sunday evening. He was also pleased to join the group training once again after being injured for a long time. A few days after the Ajax – Independiente practice match, the Uruguayan trained with the group for the second time. Although he still has a long way to go, he’s thrilled to be back.
After the match on Sunday against Independiente (5-1), Frank de Boer had already announced that Ajax would face a tough training on Monday morning. The modest performance by the Argentine team forced De Boer to swap half of his team on Sunday in order to ensure that he could do a complete practice on Monday. This was music to Bruno Silva’s ears. “I just enjoy training hard” , said the Uruguayan on Monday after the session. There is nothing special about that, except in Silva’s case. After a long recovery from his shoulder injury, he can finally look ahead.
So far, nothing can be said about Silva’s return at the match level. “I’m taking it week to week. I have a long way to go. But it feels amazing to finally be on the field again with the guys.” While Frank de Boer’s team’s focus is on the Johan Cruijff Cup match, the defender has his own goals. “It’s been a difficult time for me. I’m happy that it’s all about football again.”
An extra pick me up was the wonderful football news from South America. Late Sunday night (Dutch time), his home country Uruguay won the Copa América in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires by defeating Paraguay (3-0). Former team mate Luis Suarez once again had a starring role in La Celeste. The Liverpool centre forward scored his fourth goal of South America’s biggest tournament. He also had an assist during the final. Silva: “ Everyone was talking about Suarez’s goals and assists afterwards, but he was simply the best player of the tournament, with or without the goals. It’s great for him that he was able to show that to the world again.”
Silva had contact with his former (Suarez) and current team mates Nicolas Lodeiro directly after the match on Sunday. “I congratulated them with their amazing performance. Street parties broke out in Uruguay directly after they won the Copa América. Uruguay is a true football country, so a win in the finals has an enormous impact.” Silva had special consideration for Nicolas Lodeiro’s presentation. The 22 year old Ajax player won the national championship with Ajax two months ago, and now has won the top prize with his country. Although Lodeiro didn’t play in all matches, winning these prizes is huge. He’ll bring these great experiences back to Ajax. It will help him develop as a player.”
The Uruguayan contingent at Ajax is therefore in high spirits leading up to the match against FC Twente for the Johan Cruijff Plate. Although they won’t take active part in Saturday’s match, the Cruijff Plate could be their first (club) prize of the season. Frank de Boer has a fit team at his disposal to go head to head with Twente. Silva and Lodeiro, of course, will follow the match.