Cristian Chivu was the first Ajax player to answer questions from foreign supporters. The Romanian defender talked about his future, his colleagues at Ajax and his captaincy of the club from Amsterdam.
Will the Champions League-adventure for Ajax end in the second round? Or is Ajax able to reach for the same as the Ajax of '93-'96, because they are a lot like each other looking at age and talent?
,,I hope not. We want to believe that we can do better. Playing in the Champions League is a good experience for all of us. It is part of our growing process. We want to go one round further, and then everything is possible, because of the knock-out-system. The team is full of confidence. I cannot say for sure, but if everything goes well, we won't stop here. Be patient. Believe in us!''
Who is the most technical player in the squad? I see you as the best defender in the squad, who would you say is the hardest attacker to play against in Ajax?
,,Ajax is full of players with good technical skills. So without wanting to offend the others, I would say Rafael van der Vaart, John O'Brien and Zlatan. The player most difficult to defend in Ajax must be Zlatan. Outside of Ajax, it's Patrick Kluivert. His ability to read the game is phenomenal. He is one of the most complete strikers in the world.''
By the time you finish your footballing career, what do you hope to have achieved?
Alun Prosser, United Kingdom
,,That is a tough question. In any case: respect. I would like people to look back and say that I did a good job. It would be nice to be able to add a chapter in the book of football. That people say that they are proud to have seen me play.''
At older days, could you ever think to end your career with Ajax. That is to say: do you ever think you will return to Ajax some day?
Farzad Dehmamy, Göteborg, Sweden
,,Well, I haven't left yet, you know. But it is possible that I will leave Ajax some day, and that I will one day come back here too. Ajax will forever have a place in my heart, no matter what I do. If I leave, then it will be a pleasure to come back and be a part of Ajax again.''
How long will it take to create a new, top-quality team like the one that won the Champions League in '95 (of which you are hopefully a part in the next years)?
,,I am not a prophet. But we are on the right path. We are climbing that hill and we hope to reach the top as soon as possible.''
First of all, I would like to pass a big hug to you from all your Russian supporters. Obviously, you have obtained outstanding results with Ajax Amsterdam since the time you were accepted into the team. I'm sure you have wonderful career oportunities with this particular club, but at the same time I heard a lot of rumours that other famous European clubs would like to buy you. What is your opinion concerning the possibility of changing clubs and do you seriously consider moving to another country or will you definitely stay in Holland?
,,I haven't made any plans, so I don't know what the future will bring. I am just not in the situation to make any concrete decisions right now. All I hear is rumours. I cannot say that I will stay with Ajax forever or that I will leave. What I can say is that I feel very happy here.''
Happy new year Cristian! I hope you've had a great 2002 and I wish you a good and healthy new year. How does it feel to be captain of the first team of Ajax?
Sege Alexander, Sweden
,,Thank you! It's an honour to be captain. Everyone has confidence in me and they accept me as their captain. That makes me very proud and I don't want to disappoint them. I am still so young, and I could never dream that it would happen. And it is with Ajax, a club with one of the greatest histories in the world! I am very proud to be the captain of Ajax.
Cris, what is the funniest joke that Witschge has ever pulled on you?
Indra, Geneva, Switzerland
,,Richard is one of the funniest guys and he is always making up pranks. He's done a lot of things to me. In my first season, just before I went on holiday to Romania, he had taped all of my clothes toghether. Really tight, I couldn't get it off. It was like a rope.''
What do you expect for the Romanian national team in Euro 2004?
Brenda Carter, Leuven, Belgium
,,First we have to qualify. We are in a tough group, with Denmark and Norway and we have already lost one. Of course there are many games to play yet. It would be very disappointing for Romania if we would miss Euro 2004, because we already missed the World Cup in 2002. I am concerned about the future of Romanian football. We have to be there.''
What is the most important reason for you to play a good game?
,,My profession, my career, my club my team. Many things can make you play well. I want to get better and better every day. Not only in the game, but on training too, just to improve.''
Which other player do you respect the most at Ajax and why?
Andy Houwen, Cambridge, England
,,I respect all of my colleagues, that is the way it should be, and the other way around as well. We are a family and together we have built something up. I am very proud to be colleagues with them. I hope I am a good friend to them. They are to me.''
I think you have been one of the best in Europe and you are also nominated for team of the year!!! How does one do to avoid being a little bit nonchalant when everyone around you raises you to the sky?
Dennis, Malmö, Sweden
,,I try to think: what were you years ago? What are you right now? I try not to change too much. Naturally, as a person you grow, you mature. I see things differently now that I'm older. I stay normal. I want to get better every day, so I cannot be nonchalant.''
Do you think Ajax can get back to the glory days?
Richard Greenhough, UK
,,It depends what you call glory days. We had glory days last season when we won the double. But I think you mean back in '95. Well, we are young and more glorious days will come. We believe!''
Hi Chivu, what do you think of Trabelsi this year?
,,I am amazed with what he has done, this year and last. I was here already when he came and I saw his tremendous abilities. He can become one of the best right backs in the world. And not just right back, he is all over the place on the right side, he just keeps going. He has developed a lot and I think he was one of the best in the squad last year. He did a great job.''
What do you think of Jari Ltmanen as a player?
,,As a player, I think what everybody else thinks, that he is one of the greatest players in the history of Ajax. But even more importantly, I know him well and he is a great person. He shares his experience from all those years with the team and he is a good teacher. Jari is a great colleague, and friend, and more.''
What do you believe is the best club in the world?
Carl Henrik Smith, Norway
,,Tricky question. If I say something, then you will all think that that's where I am going to play next year. Well, the best club in the world is Ajax, of course!''