Van Rhijn: ‘I thought Leicester? Mwoah… One year later they were champions’

Ricardo van Rhijn was the regular rightback of Ajax for many years, until he was outdated by Kenny Tete. The 29-year-old Leidenaar is currently a player of FC Emmen and afterwards finds that he was not ‘free’ enough in his head. Van Rhijn took his place with Ajax in the 2011/2012 season, eventually played 163 official matches and also made the Dutch team. Eventually his development ended and he had to give his place to Tete. โ€œOne dip and two others are ready to take over your place. Especially with Ajax. With me that was Teteโ€, Van Rhijn looks back in conversation with the NRC. โ€œHe trained freely, without countergas, without thinking. As I myself once came to the first.โ€
The eight-fold international thinks that he thought too much. โ€œMaking things slip away from me,โ€ he mentions as an example of what he could have done better. โ€œPlayers who can do that are sometimes perceived as arrogant, or too confident, but in football that is a good feature. A good example was Gregory van der Wiel, who played right back before me.โ€ The very same Van der Wiel recently revealed that he is struggling with anxiety attacks. โ€œI would never have looked after him. Good thing he and other players are speaking out.โ€
Van Rhijn could have made a nice Premier League transfer, just before he lost his permanent spot at Ajax: Leicester City showed interest. โ€œI thought, Leicester… Leicester…? Mwah. A year later (in 2016, two years after The Foxes promoted to the Premier League, red.), they became Premier League champion. Bizarre, huh?โ€