Jos Boesveld describes the beauty of Dutch cup football in his latest column.
In Cup football , every year there are surprises. Normally, it’s about an amateur club who defeats a team from the Eredivisie, but this year is pretty different. It’s the draw that excites me. An all-Amsterdam derby and it’s happening tonight. No way I’m not going to be there.
There are three reasons that I’m going to the match as JOS Watergraafsmeer face Ajax. The first one is simple, my first name plays against Ajax. JOS, how often do you get that? I had a pretty good laugh and everyone is telling me that there is a team that’s has the same name as my first name. Like I didn’t know that. There’s also a town in Nigeria that’s called Jos, but that aside.
The second reason I have, is because this is the first time in years (the last time was in 1983) that two teams from Amsterdam compete against each other in a professional competition. If I had to name one team I support in the Eredivisie, it will be Ajax. I love their style of play since I was a little boy and with their history, it’s the biggest club in the Netherlands.
The third and maybe most important reason, is that the game will not be played at Sportpark Drie Burg, where JOS Watergraafsmeer normally plays their matches. The event is held at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. A beautiful arena where many battles have been fought. Ajax played the important matches in that stadium till 1996.
The last game at the Olympic Stadium was Ajax – Panathinaikos in the Champions League. Ajax ruled the (football)world, after winning the big trophy in 1995 and in 1996 they reached the finals again. The match against Panathinaikos in Amsterdam was lost, 0-1. For over eighteen years, this match stands as the last official match, played in the Olympic Stadium. No more, say Ajax fans. If the Olympic Stadium goes down in history with the last official match being between two real, Amsterdam clubs, I want to be there when history is written.
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