Davy Klaassen experienced a very unusual preparation for Ajax’s Champions League match against Midtjylland on Tuesday. The midfielder was not allowed to fly with the selection on Monday and had already accepted that he would have to follow the game on television.
Klaassen, like a number of his teammates, tested positive for corona on Monday. After a retest turned out to be negative, he arrived in Denmark together with goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg at the end of the afternoon on Tuesday.
There was not even time to go to the players’ hotel anymore, so the pair went straight to the stadium, where Ajax won 1-2 with Klaassen as a substitute.
“Actually, I had already accepted that I would miss the match,” said Klaassen, who followed the match discussion on his phone along the way. “I expected that I would be sitting on the couch at home. I really did not count on being able to join.”
When the 27-year-old Klaassen was told that he could still board the plane to Denmark, this caused an increased heart rate. “I quickly had to arrange someone to take me to the airport. That was hectic, but I made it.”
Increased heart rate at Klaassen after green light
Once in Denmark, he arrived at the MCH Arena just a little earlier than the rest of the squad. Under normal circumstances he would have been in the base, but now trainer Erik ten Hag had already chosen Jurgen Ekkelenkamp in midfield. Klaassen fully understood this.
“I understand that the trainer did not let me start, because I had to go straight from the airport to the stadium. That’s something you don’t experience every day.”
Halfway through Klaassen came on the field to replace Ekkelenkamp, when the 1-2 final score was already on the scoreboard. Ajax held its own with great difficulty and thus won the important victory. “It’s nice that we have won and grab three important points here”, Klaassen concluded.
Because of the victory, Ajax climbed to second place in group D. The Amsterdam club benefited from the hard defeat of Atalanta against Liverpool, which won 0-5 in Bergamo. Both Ajax and Atalanta have four points halfway through the group stage, but the goal difference of the Eredivisionist is slightly better (4-4 to 6-7).