Just about two years after mixing it with teen boys in the reserve leagues in England, the Nigeria international is about to mix it with the big boys in the continent’s premier club competition
New Ajax Amsterdam defender Calvin Bassey reveals he cannot wait to fulfill a childhood dream of playing in Europe’s number one club competition – the UEFA Champions League.
Four-time Champions League winners and record Dutch champions Ajax are one of the clubs preparing to feature in the UEFA CL this term after winning the Eredivisie last season.
Bassey, who only joined the Amsterdammers last month, has never played in the Champions League.
The 23-year-old was, however, one of the best players in the Europa League last term, making it into the Team of the Tournament in the colours of Glasgow Rangers.
Bassey will certainly make his Champions League debut next month as Ajax are already through to the competition’s group stage.
And the Super Eagles defender has revealed why he cannot wait to play in UEFA’s flagship club competition.
“Playing in the Champions League would be a dream come true,” Bassey told the Ajax official website.
“I’m really looking forward to it and always want to test myself against the best players. Everyone with us can’t wait for the Champions League to start.”
Why did Bassey change from number 33 to 3?
Bassey only made his Eredivisie debut last weekend after watching Ajax’s first two games from the stands following his suspension in the Dutch Super Cup.
The Nigeria international was brilliant as the Sons of the Gods defeated Sparta 1-0 in Rotterdam.
The Leicester City academy product, however, wore jersey number three in that encounter, a departure from the number 33 he was assigned ahead of the 2022-2023 campaign.
Bassey has apologised to the Ajax fanbase for the switch.
The fullback-turned-centreback explains why he took up the new number after it became vacant following the transfer of Perr Schuurs to Italian club Torino last week.
“I want to apologize to everyone who bought a shirt with 33,” Bassey said.
“Perr Schuurs used to have number three but left. I thought it was a good time to take it over. Number three has always been my favorite because I had three cases in my life is the most important thing: God, family, and football.”
Bassey wore the number three kit in his two-year stay at Glasgow Rangers.