Amrabad: “AEK is a war machine – Opap Arena is a witch’s Kazan”


With a war machine that features players falling into… fire for their coach likened it AEK The Nordin Amrabad speaking to Ajax Life ahead of the match with Ajax on Thursday for the Europa League. The Moroccan, who grew up in the Netherlands, described the disorderly situation in the ranks of “Aianda” as an advantage for the “Union”, while he called the Opap Arena a witch’s cauldron for the hot atmosphere created by the team’s friends. In detail, the 36-year-old ace spoke about:

– the extraordinary situation in Ajax: “Of course the turmoil at Ajax is an advantage for us. If there is chaos at the top of the club, it trickles down to the dressing room. You can feel that and take it out on the pitch. When you’re older, you can leave it out. It’s harder when you’re young.”

-the win over Brighton: “I think it was a really tough game. Our coach analyzed them well. When we saw the videos before, I thought, wow. I watched their game against Manchester United live on TV. At Old Trafford, Brighton set the pace and had more possession. They have a good team. We wanted to put pressure on them from the start, but we quickly saw that doesn’t work. That’s why we went back to plan B, blocking in the center. To play solid, wait in midfield and become dangerous from there. In the end we won 3-2. We performed very well.”

-his own performance in England: “Pervis Estupinian, their left-back, always played deep and I thought I was smart to stand 3-4 meters behind him so I always saw him coming. If you weren’t paying attention for a minute, you’d be running to catch up with him. This takes a lot of strength. Everything went well. He didn’t become dangerous.”

-if he was surprised by the result: “Not expecting. Our coach, Matias Almeida said before the match that we came to Brighton to win. Logically, he wanted to radiate optimism, but what he says often comes true.”

-the atmosphere at Opap Arena: “It’s like… a witch’s cauldron. We play in front of 32,000 spectators, in a new stadium since last year. It’s always full. The fans are close to the pitch. The atmosphere is amazing, although I honestly think the atmosphere in derbies is better than in European games.”

-his third season in Athens and the renewal of his contract: “You know what’s going on? My children live in the Netherlands and I thought it was a bit selfish to play football here. I try to go home on holidays for the national teams. It’s two days a month. Our coach is an emotional person. He knows that I want to go home to my children but I stayed in Athens. Many times it’s an extra day off for me. You’d fall for a coach like him. I’m having a good time here. They value me, they respect me, I get good money and I play in a beautiful stadium with fanatical fans.”

– the fact that he passed through Ajax’s academies as a child: “Yes, Ajax has a special place in my heart. However, when I went to play in Eindhoven in 2008, Ajax did not show any interest.”

-the games with Antwerp and Dinamo Zagreb: “We were unfairly excluded from Antwerp. We were better. We had more chances than Antwerp. In the previous round, Dinamo were better than us. We have to say that. Yorip Sualo played like a boss against us in both matches. Note this down. Have you seen our striker, Levi Garcia? He is not the easiest opponent. And of course we have Domagoi Vida, who is now injured. From the first time I met him, I asked him what was going on. He often winks at me. That’s his way. He’s a fantastic guy.”

-Matias Almeidas and the team’s way of playing: “First of all, he is a fantastic guy. A friend of the players. A nice man, coach for the players. He’s usually strong. Sometimes he comes to training in the morning with dark bags under his eyes. Then you know he’s been analyzing games all night. He’s honest, he doesn’t talk nonsense and he doesn’t make promises he won’t keep. Players will fall for him. We are a war machine. Regularly strong and we respond well to the opponent’s weaknesses. Last year we won the double with him. Now we’re beating Brighton, but we’re missing two central defenders.”

-how he stays in great shape at 36: “I take good care of myself, my diet, I get enough rest and I get massages often. Other than that I don’t do anything else, it just keeps me busy. If you don’t smoke and don’t drink, that also plays a role.”

Source: Sport Fm

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