De Boer: “Nothing to lose”

De Boer: “Nothing to lose”

After Thursday evening’s CL draw, Frank de Boer commented on the tough pool in which Ajax finds itself. In pool D, the Dutch champion will face the champions of Spain (Real Madrid), England (Manchester City), and Germany (Borussia Dortmund). Says De Boer: “The pressure is on the other teams.”

‘Now all we need is Dortmund and the (championship) party is complete’, twittered Frank de Boer after Ajax drew the champions of Spain and England after round 3. A short while later, his ‘wish’ came true. This fit into an evening in which Ajax found itself in the toughest of eight pools. “You could call this a doomsday scenario”, said De Boer later during the press conference. “Especially Borussia Dortmund makes this pool difficult. I would have preferred to draw a different team from round 4.”
The same holds true for their opponent from round 1, Real Madrid. For the third year in a row, Ajax will face the current Spanish championship in the pool phase of the Champions League. De Boer: “Beforehand, I had hoped to be in a pool with FC Barcelona, Schalke and perhaps the Danish Nordsjælland. And if you need to draw someone from the very highest level, then I would have preferred Barcelona. That’s also nice for fans because we’ve never officially played against them.” Still, De Boer feels that the Ajax fans will have plenty to enjoy from the current ‘pool of death’. “They are fantastic opponents from wonderful cities which are easy to travel. I’m looking forward to all six matches.”
De Boer will certainly be remembering the last few meetings with Real Madrid. Especially last year’s double confrontation is fresh in his memory. “We lost 4-0 in Spain, but we had the most ball possession and the most shots on goal. It’s just that they were supremely effective.” About the meeting in the ArenA, De Boer said: “That should have ended 2-2, because two goals from our side were unjustly disqualified.”
Manchester City’s story is also famous. The powerful, wealthy English club possesses a true arsenal of world class forwards under contract. Diego, Agüero, Balotelli, Tevez en Silva are just a few of the big names in The Citizens star cast. “They can score out of nowhere. That’s their greatest quality. In addition to that, Manchester City has a very solid defense. They simply have tremendous quality.”
Then there is Borussia Dortmund, the strongest club from round 4. “They’ve been the German champion for the past two years. And that, while Bayern München was in the Champions League finals last season. That shows how strong they are.”
Of course, De Boer would like to make it through the European winter break with Ajax, although the 112 time international realizes that this will be a difficult task. “We’d like to be third so we can make it through the winter break with the UEFA Europa League (finals in the Amsterdam ArenA). Obviously, a longer stay in the Champions League would be the best, but we’ll have to wait and see how realistic that is. The pressure is on the other teams, in any case. We have nothing to lose.”