"Tough...but excited": Ajax reacts after drawing Juventus in Champions League quarterfinal
UEFA announced the draw for the Champions League quarter finals on Friday. Ajax will be facing off against Juventus. On Twitter a number of Ajax footballers seem a bit daunted by the prospect of a match against the Italian team, but also excited for the challenge.
Marc Overmars, technical director of Ajax, thinks the Amsterdam team will have a fantastic match against Juventus, though he is not positive about its outcome.. “It is a chance for our young players to show the world what they can do”, he said to NOS. “Every opponent is difficult. We are normally the smallest team of the last eight. In principle we can beat everyone. But if I am being realistic and honest, then the chance is not so great.”
The players themselves know they face a challenge, and they seem to be excited by it. “Very tough opponents, but really excited and looking forward to playing in the Champions league quarter-finals”, Nicolas Tagliafico said on Twitter. Andre Onona tweeted: “Juventus it is! Can’t wait. Let’s go Ajax!”
Football fans on Twitter also consider Ajax the underdog in this match, though there are high hopes that the Amsterdammers will win it. Juventus supporters, however, were quick to point out that Cristiano Ronaldo scored seven goals in the five Champions League matches he played against Ajax.
Over the past 20 years, Ajax faced off against Juventus 20 times, including two matches in 2009/2010 during the last 32 of the Europa League, and two matches in 2004/2005 during the group phase of the Champions League. The 2009/2010 matches ended in a 0-0 draw, and a 1-2 win for Juventus. The 2004/2005 matches both ended 1-0, both in favor of Juventus.
If Ajax survives the quarter finals, the Amsterdam team will play against the winner of the match pitting Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur.