Clasie still believes in AZ’s Champions League ticket: ‘We have to step up’

Do AZ want to reach the Champions League, or do AZ need to reach the Champions League? If Jordy Clasie had his way, Alkmaarders would quickly grow into a club where the latter is always the case.

AZ are preparing for the next six months of Premier League football at a training camp in Spain and the fight for a Champions League qualifying ticket with Feyenoord, FC Twente and Ajax.

However, first of all, the bad taste left by the bad end of 2023 had to be erased. AZ had problems against amateurs in the cup and lost to PSV. Legia Warsaw had previously eliminated Clasie and its European partners. Dissatisfied fans even waved white handkerchiefs.


According to Clasie, the following weeks came at exactly the right time. The players traveled from Ibiza to Dubai for the holidays and Clasie also headed south. “I went to Belgium. To Plopsaland with my children. There must be a difference…”

Clasie was angry with his team after poor performances against Legia, PSV and HHC Hardenberg. After a few weeks he calmed down and hopes the good vibes in Spain will return. “We did not finish our year well. “Now we are trying to grow together and become whole again.”

Hurrying is crucial as AZ continues the season with an important away match against FC Twente. In case of victory, Tukkers will take third place. “So I hope that this camp will provide an impetus and we will realize that we can still show great things. So this is in our hands.”

This Clasie means qualifying for the Champions League. AZ last participated in this tournament in 2009. Now, with Ajax having a disastrous season, the Alkmaardians have a unique opportunity to get this far again.

Clasie believes this, even if he is in second place. “But then we have to act,” he says. “And be more consistent. “In recent years we have often been eliminated at important moments.”

sacred obligation

Could this be because AZ lacks the “sacred obligation”, unlike PSV, Feyenoord and Ajax? “This club will continue to grow. You really feel a lot of pressure in the first three. “That’s where we want to go with this group of players.”

“But we need to do this and show that we can handle this. We didn’t give up many times this season. “This is definitely something we need to improve on if we want to compete at the highest stage.”

It would be beneficial for top scorer Vangelis Pavlidis to stay at the club. However, the Greek player attracted the attention of foreign clubs with the 18 goals he scored.

“He’s very important to us,” says Clasie. “You never know what will happen in football but I think it will be permanent. AZ has ambitions too. “I wish him a good transfer, but ideally at the end of the season.”

Source: NOS