Eredivisie 18/19 Season

Sjaakmeoff

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Champions, National Cup, seconds from CL final. Quite a year

And as a thank you we have to play 2 preliminary CL rounds, beginning July 25th.

 
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Mrs Smoker

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Champions, National Cup, CL final. Quite a year

And as a thank you we have to play 2 preliminary CL rounds, beginning July 25th.
Not sure how to say this to you...maybe you should sit down...



Anyway, you get to see your team eariler, that's great, I hope Watford wins FA cup, so we'll start around that time as well.
 

KirkDuyt

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Champions, National Cup, seconds from CL final. Quite a year

And as a thank you we have to play 2 preliminary CL rounds, beginning July 25th.

Congrats mate. I will forever remember this season as the one where you had the chance to win the CL though. Doesnt that sort of negate the happiness?
 

Sjaakmeoff

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Congrats mate. I will forever remember this season as the one where you had the chance to win the CL though. Doesnt that sort of negate the happiness?
Thanks,

Yes and no. As soon as you can switch from ouch to...if someone told you at the beginning of the season.... But the 'ouch' will stay for a while.
 

KirkDuyt

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Thanks,

Yes and no. As soon as you can switch from ouch to...if someone told you at the beginning of the season.... But the 'ouch' will stay for a while.
Yeah of course it's still an amazing achievement, but even I still find it hard to rewatch and well, Im not n Ajacied :)
 

NYAS

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@Sjaakmeoff The Dutch champions have to play two qualifiers before the CL group stage? :houllier:

Are you sure? That seems bizarre to me. They should be straight into the groups and that’s how it used to be; let alone playing 2 qualifying rounds.
 

KirkDuyt

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@Sjaakmeoff The Dutch champions have to play two qualifiers before the CL group stage? :houllier:

Are you sure? That seems bizarre to me. They should be straight into the groups and that’s how it used to be; let alone playing 2 qualifying rounds.
We dropped in the rankings. This Ajax run will correct that from the 20/21 season though.
 
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@Sjaakmeoff The Dutch champions have to play two qualifiers before the CL group stage? :houllier:

Are you sure? That seems bizarre to me. They should be straight into the groups and that’s how it used to be; let alone playing 2 qualifying rounds.
Yeah they changed it about 2 seasons ago, something to do with coefficient points.
 

Ajaxsuarez

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Really recommend reading Van de Beek's interview about this in this morning's telegraaf:

Talking about Abdelhak Nouri and the lasting, severe brain injury that his best friend endured in the summer of 2017, remains visibly difficult for Donny van de Beek (22). Since the home match with FC Utrecht (4-1) and PSV’s surprising defeat against AZ (1-0), which meant that Ajax unofficially captured the championship, van de Beek has fulfilled a promise. “This one is for Appie” van de Beek says with a soft voice, referring to the 34th league title for the Amsterdammers. “But I keep thinking: ‘how great would it have been if Appie was with us.’ That doesn’t let me go.”

Van de Beek’s sad face reveals a cautious smile when he thinks back at their joint debut for the first team. “Appie was so smart, you know? He just joined the first team and we sat next to each other in the dressing room at De Toekomst. ‘I’m going to ask for shirt number 34, because the 34th title, we’re going to make that happen’, he said. After his cardiac arrest I kept thinking about his words and I was certain that I wasn’t going to leave Ajax until we had won a championship. I had to get that 34th championship. We all played for Appie too. I longed for this championship so much”, the Ajacied says, who swings understanding and feelings and sometimes fights against the tears.

“I often visit his family and in the offseason I might go to Appie himself. To protect myself I haven’t visited him for a while, because when I seem him, that hurts me too much. I’ll be upset for a couple of weeks and I won’t sleep well. It hurts intensely and I’ll never get used to it. I want to be with him every day, because I miss him a lot. But I know I wouldn’t be able to function as well as I can now. If I am with him, I chat to him and I sometimes see a smile. It really gets through to him.”

A long silence follows. “I find it hard to talk about, because I hold these things in. When I’m sad, I pull back. I’ve never had the need for a psychologist, because I my friends and family are enough for me. They are always there for me and they listen to me when I need it. I’ve learned who is always there for me.”

Van de Beek tells lovingly about his former teammate and friend. “Appie was a super happy kid, that wasn’t focused on himself, but mostly on the people around him. He was good for others, a great player and a great person. When he got older he visited prisons to get young people on the right path and point them to their opportunities. And he took all the time in the world for people with illnesses and children with disabilities. I will always remember that.”

“I thought the most beautiful thing was that he did it out of the sight of camera’s and photographers. When my brother Rody got sick, Appie showed a lot of interest as well. And he got pleasure out of taking his little sisters to school and pick them up, and buying presents for them. He did anything for his sweet family.”

Van de Beek hides his emotions. “Our friendship grew tighter and tighter and I also became friends with his brother Mo, who I still talk to every day, about how Appie is doing.” The memory of one conversation in particular gives him cold chills in the spring sun. “Mo was in the Netherlands, and I was in Austria, and he asked if his brother, who was laying on the pitch, was alright. Telling him that Appie had been in cardiac arrest wasn’t easy...” he says with feeling for understatement. “In the beginning the messages were hopeful, people said that a lot of tests went well, so the news that it was really wrong was a big blow. Brain dead. I was broken.”

It keeps spinning in his head. “I still wonder why it had to happen to him. Obviously I don’t want things like that to happen to anybody, but it seems it always hits the good people. Appie always wanted the best for everybody and he absolutely did not deserve this. It makes me feel powerless and angry.”

The wound gets ripped open time and time again. “When the fans sing it is beautiful but also very confronting. And every day that I walk on De Toekomst, I miss him. The chats we had in the dressing room, the beautiful moments together. And also now that we are receiving the 34th league title, I am proud and sad at the same time. It’s just unbelievably hard”, he says superfluously.

“We played against Standard Liège in the qualification for the Champions League this season. We stayed in Liège in the same hotel as we did in the season under Peter Bosz in the Europa League. It didn’t occur to me until the moment I stepped into my hotel room that it was exactly that room that me and Appie stayed in, in 2016. Damn! At that moments the goosebumps appear again and you have to give it a place again. By playing football you can forget it.”

Well, for a while. “I think about Appie every day, but now that the 34th championship got closer even more. But it’s not only me. That counts for every guy in the squad who knows him well and experienced him. Everybody shows that Appie will never be forgotten. He is a child of the club, he is Ajax. Maybe even the biggest talent that has ever walked around De Toekomst. I got to train with him every day and he was unbelievably good”, his smile returns.

“With tournaments in other countries we always stayed in the same room. Not just once, but hundreds of times, with Oranje U17 even for a month straight on Malta. You talk about everything: about the journey we were on together, about our dream to play in the Netherlands national team together, about our doubts and all kinds of personal matters, because we liked a lot of the same things. Those moments seem very normal, but now I cherish them for the rest of my life.”

Just like the matches they played together. “He always wanted to surprise the opponent and we made deals about that, like in a match against Almere City. Witb a free kick I from about 20 meters away from the goal I stood next to the wall and asked him to chip the ball over it. He did that perfectly and I volleyed thr ball straight into the top corner. We really enjoyed that. At Oranje U19 and Jong Ajax thousands of people came to see Appie.”

Van de Beek considers a special tribute tonight. “I’ve thought about doing something special for Appie against De Graafschap if I score or when we are the champions officially. But that is a surprise.”

(found this translation online so can't guarantee it's quality but it looks alright)
 

SportingCP96

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I feel Bruma will be a star for PSV. I see he has been doing decent so far scoring in there two CL fixtures.