Filip Frei chose Ajax over Barcelona last summer. The Swiss right wing-back came over on loan from FC Zurich. After his first few months in Amsterdam, he doesn’t regret the choice. Frei enjoys the level of football in his new surroundings.
‘I was on a trial at FC Barcelona after they scouted me. I trained for a week with the under 19 squad, but FC Zurich and Barcelona had some issues,’ says Frei in an interview with the official Ajax website. ‘Ajax was following me as well and invited me for a trial too. They communicated better and came to an agreement with FC Zurich. Ajax is a very special club and the perfect club for young players to develop.’
The right-footed defender introduces himself: ‘Since I was young I like to dribble with the ball. But being a right wing-back you have to be more careful and make sure you keep possession of the ball. I love to go for the one on one, but you need to find the right moment because you can cause huge difficulties to your team.’
The biggest difference between Ajax and FC Zurich? Frei answers quickly: ‘differences are everywhere. Physically the level isn’t that much higher, but you have to think a lot quicker on the pitch. Players are more intelligent and the pace is higher. This is the way everyone wants to play football. Not easy, but it’s really nice.’
Frei, who’s only 18 years old, didn’t find a lot of problems adjusting to his new environment: ‘when I arrived here, it was pretty easy to meet new people. I feel really welcome here and if I have any questions there’s always someone around who is willing to help. I hope I can stay after my loan period. Succeeding at Ajax is my dream!’