UCL Calvin Bassey focused, to ignore family, friends as Ajax visit Rangers
“I know a lot of people here and it will be nice to see them” – Bassey said ahead Tuesday’s crunch clash with former club.
Calvin Bassey will leave any Rangers reunions until after Ajax’s UEFA Champions League game against the Light Blues at Ibrox on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old defender helped the Gers reach the Europa League final last season before joining the Dutch club for a fee of around €23million in the summer.
Bassey played a vital role as Ajax defeated Rangers 4-0 in Amsterdam on matchday one, in what was the first of five successive Group A defeats for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men.
Back on familiar ground 📍#UCL #ranaja
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) October 31, 2022
In order to make it into the Europa League, Rangers will require a minimum 5-0 win over the visitors.
Business first, reunions later
The Super Eagles centre-back, who will have family present in Glasgow on Tuesday, revealed that he is back at his old stomping ground to first and foremost do a job.
“I know a lot of people here and it will be nice to see them after the game because at the end of the day I’ve come here to do a job,” Bassey said ahead of Tuesday’s encounter.
“I’ve got to stay focused and not focus on all the distractions. I’ll say hello to everyone but save the conversations for after the game and focus on the match.”
Bassey hails Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Bassey revealed that he brought along a “nice present” for his former boss Van Bronckhorst although he refused to divulge what it was. He further praised the Rangers manager and compared the playing styles of both clubs.
“He (Van Bronckhorst) gave me an opportunity when he came (to Rangers). He taught me a lot and helped me get confidence and play. He has been very important to my career,” the Nigeria international said.
“I think the playing styles are different. The way we play is evident to see. We are more fluid and Ajax is a possession-based team with exciting football.
“That is what we try to give in every single game. You should be able to see the difference.
“The players have top quality. I am not saying the Rangers players don’t, they have quality as well. It is a good step.”
Napoli and Liverpool have already qualified for the knockout stage and barring an almighty shock Ajax will go into the Europa League.