King about love for Ajax: ‘I have to be neutral everywhere, except for football’

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Willem-Alexander in 1982 with Johan Cruijff (l) in the dressing room of Ajax
NOS News

It was already known that King Willem-Alexander is a football fan. It was suspected by many that he mainly cheers for Ajax. But now the king has spoken publicly about his preference for the Amsterdam club in the podcast Through the Eyes of the King, for the first time as far as is known. In conversation with radio DJ Edwin Evers, he says that his preference for Ajax arose as a child, after he had met Johan Cruijff in the half-time of a football match.

The Ajax icon then told the then Prince Willem-Alexander that he would wave at him if he scored a goal, which eventually happened. “That’s where my love for Ajax started,” said the king in the podcast, the fourth episode of which was released today. “I have to be neutral in all areas of my life, except football,” he says.

According to Willem-Alexander, football players are the best ambassadors for a country. In addition to Cruijff, he also mentions Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit as examples. During his visits abroad, he always meets people who know these names, says the king. “Sometimes you hear strange accents and you really have to figure out who they mean, but these people know them all.”

Netherlands or Argentina

The king says he has made agreements about international matches “internally, before our marriage” with his wife Máxima, who comes from Argentina. When the Netherlands plays against Argentina, as at the last World Cup, they support the Netherlands. “My wife is Dutch, she is the Queen of the Netherlands.” On the other hand, says Willem-Alexander: “If Argentina plays and it is not against the Netherlands, then I am always for Argentina.”

Incidentally, there are rumors that Máxima is for Feyenoord. Former PEC Zwolle coach Ron Jans let this slip in 2015 after he had spoken briefly with Willem-Alexander.

Anniversary Podcast

The podcast Through the eyes of the King is commissioned by the Government Information Service, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Willem-Alexander on the throne. There are ten episodes in total; in each edition, the king looks back on a year in his reign. This time it was 2016, the year that Johan Cruijff passed away.

  • Koning had ‘out of body experience’ during the inauguration: ‘what the hell are you doing?’
  • Willem-Alexander looks back on ten years of kingship in a podcast with Edwin Evers
  • Royal family

  • Football

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