Matthijs De Ligt Catches Beer Thrown At Amsterdam Mayor During Raucous Title Celebrations
Ajax celebrated yet another Eredivisie title on Thursday, a day after clinching its first league trophy since 2014.
It capped a remarkable season for the legendary Dutch side, including a trip to the Champions League semifinals and within a whisker of reaching the final.
Ajax edged PSV Eindhoven for the title on the final day, doing so in style in a sweet new away kit on Wednesday.
So Thursday was a time to celebrate, and the team welcomed 100,000 of its closest friends to the Museumplein in Amsterdam to commemorate the season. The Van Gogh and Stedelijk museums were both closed as fans overfilled the city’s biggest tourist destination and nearby schools moved final exams to another location to avoid the noise, according to DutchNews.nl.
It was one giant party.
Thursday was time for reflection on the season, with Hakim Ziyech named the club’s player of the year and Noussair Mazraoui named Talent of the Year. Players took turns holding aloft the Eredivisie trophy and club captain Matthijs de Ligt gave a speech where he referenced the big man above us — that’s Johan Cruyff in Amsterdam, not some mere god.
Matthijs de Ligt is an extraordinary human being, and just 19 years old.
— AjaxTimes (@ajaxtimes) May 16, 2019
The festivities had a feel-good factor too.
The father and brother of Appie Nouri, who wore the No. 34 jersey before suffering brain damage in July of 2017, were on hand to celebrate Ajax’s record 34th league championship.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 15, 2019
But the funniest moment of the day came when Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema took the stage.
Halsema stood with the Ajax players and almost as soon as she was handed the mic and began to speak, someone threw a beer at her.
Matthijs de Ligt, ever the vigilant defender, stepped in to catch the beer and throw it back to the fans.
— Nadyice (@nadyice_) May 16, 2019
Nothing gets by de Ligt. Except, maybe, Lucas Moura.
The gesture may be the last the club captain makes for Ajax. The prodigious 19-year-old center back has been linked with a move to follow teammate Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona. Though he has yet to confirm where he might end up, it’s likely de Jong makes a big-money move somewhere this summer.
Hopefully he goes somewhere that his beer-catching skills are appreciated as much as his calm under pressure, immaculate tackling and uncanny leadership for a 19-year-old.