Trabelsi: 'Champions League has made me a better player'

In a little over 24 hours more than a thousand questions came in for Hatem Trabelsi. ,,That's a lot!", the Tunisian defender reacted. When he learned that he did not have to answer all thousand questions, he sat down with relief and took his time to answer the supporters' questions.

What did you think when you scored against RKC?
Roald Willemsen, Ede

,,Ik was very happy with it. I was looking for an opportunity during the match. I had been trying to score and I was really happy when it happened."

Why was everybody laughing when you scored??
Sven van Dooremaal, Halsteren

,,They were happy for me because I finally scored for Ajax!"

What went through your mind when you heard that you would go from Sfaxien to Ajax?
Dylan van Eenennaam, Oost-Souburg

,,I was a bit surprised. Ajax is a big club, and every footballer want to play for Ajax. Most players from Tunisia go to France to play. The level of play and the mentality is different with Ajax from Sfaxien. Everything would change in my life, the climate, the surroundings, everything. I was bit scared in the beginning, as I was going to leave behind my familiy and friends. But I adjusted well to the group and I feel good here, just like in Tunisia."

Do you miss home and does it affect your achievements on the pitch?
Wendy van Mulken, Maastricht

,,Of course I miss Tunisia, especially my family. But it does not affect my play, I am a professional and playing football here is my job. But I think about my family every day and I go back in the holidays."

What is the biggest difference between Holland and Tunisia in football and culturally?

,,The difference in football is very big. The level of play, the level of the clubs, the infrastructure, everything is different. Life is good in Tunisia, that is not such a big difference, but you cannot compare the football."

Dear Hatem,
When you came to Amsterdam in the summer of 2001, was there somebody in the squad with whom you got along well from the start? Someone who helped you in that new country?

Sebastiaan Brandwijk, Nieuw-Vennep

,,Wamberto helped me a lot. I spent every day with him in the beginning. He helped me talk to the players and get adjusted. He came to my hotel every day."

Is Ajax known in Tunisia and in what way?
p.s. please stay a few more years, keep it up
Michael Augustinus, Lisse

,,Ajax is big club in Tunisia just like Real Madrid. After '94-'95 Ajax got really well known in Tunisia. Their style of football is appealing. And now that I play for Ajax, all Tunisians are fan of Ajax."

You are doing well, Hatem. But has your dream already come true? And what is your dream?
Wesley Derks, Goor

,,'Winning the Champions League is one of my dreams. It is a big event. I also would like to play in England or Spain in the future. And I would like to win the African Nations Cup with my country."

Where do you get the strength to cover the whole right flank for 90 minutes? I play right back myself, but contrary to you I rarely get past the halfway line. Some tips from Europe's best right back would be welcome.
Brecht Gryspeert

,,It's a quality that I happen to have. For me it's not hard. Roberto Carlos and Cafu also have it. Training of course is very important."

Hello Hatem, did you learn much this season with Ajax?

,,I have learned a lot this season, escpecially in the Champions League. It is an important tournament for every player. My level of play has gone up. I played against all the great clubs in Europe, that has given me more experience. It has made me a better player, it has made everybody a better player."

What did you think when you saw Tomasson score in San Siro??
Sarafien, Ouderkerk

,,It was a diificult moment. I did not know how to react, my mind was empty. Everybody thought we were through. That is how Italian clubs are. It was our mistake, the came was not over yet."

Hello Trabelsi, how long do you intend to stay at Ajax, ther are rumours that other clubs are interested in you. And do you think that if this team stays together that you can get even further in the Champions League next year?
Bas Overtoom, Rotterdam

,,I have a contract to 2004 with an option for two more years. I am ahppy here at Ajax so I'll stay. We have goed players with whom we can win. But it's really difficult to win the Champions League."

What is "the moment" from your career with Ajax?
Richard Baas, Schagen

,,The matches in the Champions League I will always remember. It was my first time in that tournament and each match was a spectacle. I will particularly remeber the match against Lyon. My grandmother had just passes away. It was hard to play that night, but I took the decision to do it. I played an excellent match then, I will always remember that."

Who is the best striker you played against?
Robbert, Rotterdam

,,There are many good ones. I think Inzaghi is very good, he is very intelligent. In Holland the forwards of PSV and Feyenoord are very dangerous."

Who is/was Hatem Trabelsi's idol ?
Damir, Arnhem

,,Maradona, Van Basten, Weah... It is very special that Van Basten is on our training often. I used to watch him on television. In Tunisia he is a really great player."

hello Hatem, congratulations for first goal for Ajax, hopefully there is more to come.
My question is which European league would you prefer to go to if you were to leave Ajax?

Irad A. Nur, London

,,I think I would go to England, the style of football is appealing to me. I would choose Arsenal."

Hatem, what are your plans for the future?
Lots of luck.
Robbie Barends, Almelo

,,I want to keep playing football this way, I have to make sure I keep my level. When my career is over I want to do absolutely nothing. For the entire day."

Which music do you like?
Bob Jari Schuitema, Amsterdam

,,I like many kinds of music, just not techno. I listen to quiet music often and I also like Arabian music."

Do you have a nickname and if yes, what is it?
Linquenda, Steenbergen

,,I have no nickname at the moment. They used to call me 'Bangalé', I think he was a Bengal footballer."

How was playing in the World Cup?
Louis Herrema, Leeuwarden

,,It was a terrific experience. We did not play that well, the team is average. But it was an important tournament learning wise."