Ajax will face Getafe in the knockout phase of the Europa League on Thursday at 6.55 p.m. A profile of the club from the suburb of Madrid that is surprisingly third in the Spanish league.
"This result is unfair, given our commitment and courage. Unfortunately, we do not have the quality that the top teams have," said Getafe coach José Bordalás on Saturday after his team had made FC Barcelona very difficult in Camp Nou, where narrowly 2 -1 was lost.
Bordalás summed up the power of Getafe perfectly: the team is not overflowing with quality, but fighting for what it is worth and does everything it can to win. The trainer, who never played at a high level, has taken care of that mentality in the past 3.5 years.
"Die Bordalás is a phenomenon and really a small José Mourinho. He does not care about customer loyalty and does not value the beauty or attractiveness of football. He wants the opponent not to win and preferably that they win themselves," Sierd de Vos, a Ziggo Sport commentator who knows Spanish football against NUsport.
"They control that ugliness to perfection. The principle of Getafe is that they do not need the ball. They try to take the ball at half the opponent when it is under construction and strike at that moment. Like Barcelona did under Josep Guardiola, but much more rude. "
José Bordalás (right), the fanatic coach of Getafe, is not loved by all his colleagues in Spain. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"That right back will kick you over the fence"
The style of Getafe is accompanied by many violations; with a number of 77 this season the team of Bordalás took the most yellow cards in La Liga. No fewer than eleven of them were for right back Damián Suárez, one of the three Uruguayan defenders in the team.
"He is the hardest player of the entire competition and will kick you over the fence in no time. Getafe has four players who are on nine or ten yellow cards. They are physically very strong and have an enormous condition," says De Vos.
"They also have Djené in the defense, a Togolese tank. And if you ever run into Cameroonian Allan Nyom, you have a hernia. Getafe simply tries to thwart and disrupt the opponent as much as possible. Against Barcelona they made thirty offenses. "
Ángel Rodríguez is the club top scorer of Getafe. The striker already scored fourteen times this season, although he usually starts on the bench. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"No problems with egos at Getafe"
Getafe, which has only been at the highest Spanish level since the beginning of this century, ended nicely in fifth place last year and that line will be continued this season. De Vos does have an explanation for that.
"At the very large clubs, you suffer from egos, where players have to play in the service of others. You don't have that at Getafe. The team has been around for three seasons from the same players, who generally couldn't make it at big clubs. The trainer is able to make the sum of the parts into a very beautiful whole, "he says.
How should Ajax tackle the diptych with Getafe? "Physically, Getafe is stronger, so Ajax players must stay out of the duels and - as in their best European away matches - let the ball go round."
Getafe-Ajax starts on Thursday at 6.55 pm in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, where there is room for more than 17,000 spectators. The return is next Thursday at 9 p.m. at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
Getafe stadium, the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. (Photo: Pro Shots)
View the complete program in the Europa League