David Neres is on his way back after having been sidelined for a long time by a knee injury. High time to have a good conversation with the wing forward. In part 2 of our interview, he talks about the doubling of the number of Brazilian players at Ajax. Neres also discusses the departure of his good friend Hakim Ziyech, and impending fatherhood.
This is part 2 of the interview with David Neres. On Saturday, we spoke to the forward about his knee injury, and his recovery. Missed it? Click here!
How is Neres getting through this corona crisis? The winger is training a lot for himself, but he also needs to stay home in quarantine. He has regular contact with fellow Brazilian Danilo. These two have been close during this time, says Neres.
“I also talk to Bruno Varela regularly. Otherwise, I’m speaking to my other team mates on the phone only. How am I keeping busy in quarantine? I watch shows and play some games. Next to that, I’ve recently tried karaoke. I think that quite a few people have seen that, haha.”
A friend leaving, fellow countrymen arriving
Once the Brazilian international is fit to play again, he won’t be seeing one of his friends on the field anymore. His buddy Ziyech is moving to Chelsea. Neres will miss the star. “Definitely as a player, because he’s fantastic, but also personally. Everyone loves him and he will be missed. Hakim is an amazing player and I know he’s going to be great at Chelsea.”
As Ziyech leaves, two Brazilians will arrive. Ajax has recently acquired Antony and Giovanni. Neres is looking forward to the duo’s arrival. “It’s always nice to have people from your country around. I’m very happy that they’re coming.”
Samba on offense
The Ajax player is anticipating it already: playing in the Johan Cruijff ArenA with his countrymen. “It will make it easier that we understand each other well. We have a very strong offense right now, but I think we can become even stronger. I think we can help each other achieve great things.”
And then, with a smile: “Will Danilo and I take the guys to our favorite Brazilian restaurant in Amsterdam? I have a better idea; we’ll take them to a very expensive one, and they’ll have to pay for the old guys”, says Neres, laughing.
When talking of his countrymen, the forward is full of enthusiasm. In the past week, he’s been in touch with the two newcomers. “Giovanni is with the same management, so I’ve already spoken with him a few times. I’ve also been in touch with Antony. I’ve told him a few things about the club. I knew him from São Paulo and I’m proud that he’s coming from there. It says a lot about the high quality of São Paulo’s academy. I’m happy that he’s coming and I think it’s a good step in his development. I know he’s going to do well.”
Ajax will be prominent in Brazil
As 4 Brazilians will be playing in an Ajax jersey next season, our club will become more visible in Brazil. According to Neres, Ajax games will become more popular. “They’ve already been broadcasting some matches: thanks to our successful season last year (18-19), more and more people are watching Ajax. With 4 Brazilians on the team, I think we’re going to become more prominent.”
But the question is whether all four of them will play together in Amsterdam. Neres and Antony, for example, can both play on the right. “He’s a competitor for me, but I think that it would be even better if we play together. He’s a different kind of player. He comes to the ball immediately, while I look for depth. I think we can get a good feel for each other, and make each other stronger.”
In addition to the steps he’s making in recovery and the arrival of 2 Brazilians, there’s more to look forward to on the horizon. Neres is preparing for fatherhood. His girlfriend is expecting in July. “I think that everyone wants to become a dad”, says Neres proudly. “Do I have tips for my team mates? No, not yet. But the baby’s mom is doing well. I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t really know what to expect. I think I’m just going to improvise, haha.”