“Twente is the rightful champion”

“Twente is the rightful champion”

After NEC – Ajax (1-4), the disappointment was great for Ajax’s players. FC Twente stood their ground in Breda (0-2), thereby earning their first national championship. Ajax was one point short. The Ajax players were realistic in their reaction: “Twente is the rightful champion.”

“This is a downer”, said Urby Emanuelson soon after the match. In the Goffert, the Ajax player admitted that he had expected more. “Of course, before and during the
match, we were hopeful. Especially since we’ve done so well since the winter break.”

Emanuelson continues: “Of course, in retrospect, you look at where we wasted points this season. Sparta at home (0-0), Twente away (1-0), and Feyenoord away (1-1) come to mind.” Demy de Zeeuw agreed with his teammate’s assessment. “At the end, we left points on the table this season. FC Twente is therefore the rightful champion”, says the international.

After this bitter disappointment, De Zeeuw also saw the positive aspects of this last football season for Ajax. “There’s a peaceful atmosphere in the club. Moreover, this year we played clear, good football with many of our own young players. Those are areas where the club excels. Our squad consists of good players who all want to put in the work. This will hopefully be rewarded on Thursday with the KNVB Cup.”

Captain Luis Suarez looks back with mixed emotions. “Twente is the rightful champion, and I congratulate them.” He acknowledges with a smile that, with 35 goals (he scored twice on Sunday against NEC), he is the Eredivisie’s top scorer. “That’s nice for me, but there’s no prize for that. Just like Ajax didn’t get the prize today. I want to be champion, and that didn’t happen today.”

Just like his Ajax teammates, Suarez looks forward to Thursday, when Ajax meets Feyenoord in De Kuip for the return match of the KNVB final. They could still close the season with a prize. Ajax’s captain is looking even further. “This group needs to stay together. It’s hard to look too far ahead with football.”

As the Eredivisie’s number two team, Ajax still has a chance to make Champions League with the qualifying rounds. “The Champions League is important”, says Suarez. “But it’s difficult, since we need to play two qualifying rounds”, he continues with a faint smile. “After the World Cup, our focus will need to be Champions League. “

Emanuelson summarizes the disappointment in two sentences: “We were dependent today. Knowing that takes some of the pain away.”