Thomas Vermaelen bid farewell to Ajax and the supporters on Sunday, during halftime of the Ajax-Feyenoord match. The Belgian native, who went to Arsenal last summer, made a heartfelt speech and, at the end, walked a lap of honour around the field in the Amsterdam ArenA.
Vermaelen was pleased to finally be able to say a proper goodbye to the club and fans. “I’ve always felt complete support from everyone at the club. Thanks to the people at the club, and the fans, I felt at home at Ajax for all those years.”
The Belgian international has experienced a good start with his new club this season. With Arsenal, the defender has immediately taken on an important role in London-based team’s defensive line-up.
Ajax’s General Manager, Rik van den Boog, addressed Vermaelen on the field. He said that the ex-Ajax player became a ‘real Amsterdam native” in his ten years here. “You came to Ajax from Belgium when you were fifteen, and you developed into a leader over the years, both on and off the field.” Referring to the season when Vermaelen was loaned out by Ajax to RKC Waalwijk, Van den Boog said: “When you returned, you were even stronger than when you left.”
De Belgian player, who wore the Ajax first team’s jersey 143 times, walked a lap of honour past the Ajax supporters, and sent a few AEGON-Ajax balls into the stands. “I left Ajax on good terms. Hope to see you again soon.”