Rinus Israel, club icon of Feyenoord, had wanted to become the best trainer of Ajax in 1985. The former defender was mentioned at the time as possible successor to Aad de Mos, who was fired in Amsterdam.
Israel won the Europa Cup I and the World Cup with Feyenoord, but had responded to a possible invitation from Ajax. “Certainly”, he says firmly to DeccEit. “Ajax is just a nice club. Well, at that time, hate wasn‘t so great. I think it could have been. Wim Jansen also played football at Ajax and that was a real Feyenoorder. I didn’t join the club until later. I understood at the time that I was one of the candidates, but I never had a conversation with Ajax.”
The former defender himself comes from Amsterdam. He never bothered his status as a Feyenoord icon there. “Really not. I‘ve never been attacked. But I never dropped off on Ajax either. If people talk to me about football and they want to talk about Ajax, then I’m okay with it. So is my grandson, who has no preference. I am not a blind person who violently indoctrinates him to become Feyenoorder.”
Ajax and Feyenoord face each other on Sunday afternoon at 16.45 hours in the Johan Cruijff Arena. The Amsterdammers cherish a three-point lead over the eternal rival from the port city.