At the airport of summery São Paolo, Ajax literally and figuratively received a warm welcome at their arrival. After a sixteen hour journey, the Brazilian press was waiting for the Ajax team. Ajax coach Frank de Boer was speaking before television cameras directly upon arrival. Even on the other side of the world, the 112 time international is well known.
Between the football fans at the airport of South America’s largest city, there was, strangely enough, a Sparta fan. Dressed in a jersey from a few seasons ago, he was clear about being a fan of the Eredivisie. A holiday in the Netherlands had ignited his enthusiasm. “I purposefully wanted a jersey from a smaller club. Everyone knows Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV, but here in Brazil, I’m probably the only one with a Sparta shirt”, claims the young Brazilian proudly.
The ‘news’ that Danny Blind from the current Ajax team has a history with Sparta was not news for the Brazilian Sparta fan. “Blind, Van Gaal, Rijkaard; I know them all.” And the names of the Ajax players don’t pose a problem for the resident of ‘Sampa’. Effortlessly, the names Nicolás Lodeiro (from neighbouring Uruguay) and Miralem Sulejmani roll off his tongue. It’s clear: we are in the land of five time world champion Brazil. They know everything about football here. Even about Sparta.
Follow Ajax in Brazil via Ajax.nl, Ajax TV, Facebook, Twitter@AFCAjax, Hyves and Google+. Ajax’s activities can also be followed in Portuguese, ensuring that Ajax fans in Brazil won’t miss anything during the national champions’ visit.