Dutch giants Ajax visit favela during Rio de Janeiro training camp
Dutch champions Ajax visited a Rio de Janeiro favela on Wednesday while taking time out of their winter training camp and left surprised by the joy and happiness of the people of Vila Cruzeiro.
Ajax, who entered the winter break in third place in the Eredivisie, have returned to Brazil for the second year running for their winter break, last year they went to São Paulo, and spent the afternoon in Vila Cruzeiro, famous as the birthplace of former Inter striker Adriano.
“In the Netherlands we do not have any of this,” coach Frank de Boer told Globo Esporte.
“It has served to put both feet on the ground again. You have to be happy for what they have and even in these circumstances they are happy with what they have. I hope the sponsors and the governments of the Netherlands and Brazil can help them.”
Defender Daley Blind was also surprised by what they saw in the favela and believed the Dutch could learn from the people of Vila Cruzeiro.
“I thought it would be something like only crimes happening, but it is not true. I only saw people gathering, playing football and having fun.
“Netherlands is rich and only think about money, money, money, but that's football. Rio is football and football. In each place fields, people playing, it was nice to see.”
And Cameroon midfielder Eyong Enoh was especially touched by the experience, which reminded him of his childhood in Africa.
“I had a good feeling, it was good to feel the energy of the place. Reminded me my childhood, especially the fact that children play without shoes, I did that a lot.
“The way they were smiling and having fun even without boots and a ball only reminded me of my childhood.
“It is very important, especially for European players to have a chance to see different conditions and situations that will make you understand that there are many things they do not know and many players will appreciate more what they have.”
Source: Globo Esporte