UEFA Europa League Update - AFC Ajax and FC Porto

AFC Ajax Captain Jan Vertonghen

UEFA Europa League Update - AFC Ajax and FC Porto

"When the Ajax ball was drawn, it went silent," said AFC Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen reflecting upon the recent UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw. "When United came out of the pot, there was a wow."

"We all saw United winning the Champions League in 1999 and 2008," the 24-year-old said. "They have had hundreds of tremendous players. They have a great coach, big stars and Old Trafford is a nice stadium. You cannot look beyond that. Of course, we will be out for a good result, but we have to enjoy the opportunity and the atmosphere," said Belgian international defender Jan Vertonghen.

 "We may then not be in the Champions League anymore, but this certainly is a Champions League draw," he gushed. "This is a brilliant pairing, and it will be a fantastic experience for our players and technical staff," said Ajax coach Frank de Boer. 

"Ajax are a good team and I've never faced them in competitive European football. I'm looking forward to it," said Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"When I looked at the teams we could face I thought Porto would be the toughest," he admitted. "We know this game will be difficult, but also it will be difficult for them," said Manchester City FC boss Roberto Mancini.

"These will be two great matches," he said. "Concentration and motivation levels will be high. We know them relatively well because of games on TV. It's a match for which [ticket] demand will be high and the reaction I had from my players was enthusiastic," said Porto coach Vítor Pereira.

"That is how we have to deal with this tie. If we want to defend our title, we have to understand that facing Manchester City now or towards the end of the competition is the same. They are opponents that excite us but we have our strengths, too."

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