Daley Blind poses with the Europa League trophy.

Blind: I'll never forget our Europa League win

Thursday 24 May 2018 13:19

Daley Blind has won three major trophies in his four years so far at Manchester United but it's clear which one means the most to the Dutchman.

“There is a special story behind all three trophies I’ve won with Manchester United but, of course, the Europa League final against Ajax is something special which I will never forget.

"A lot was made of the fact that winning the Europa League would put us back into the Champions League, and of course that is something that is in the back of your mind, but all season long, through all the games we had to get through to reach the final, winning the trophy itself was always the main thing.

"A cup final is a special day, but when the game is played at night, it makes it a very long day! For me, I was really in my moment, focusing for a couple of days on what was going to happen because I like to play the game in my head beforehand over and over again; that way I know I have prepared myself the best I can.
"On the day of the game you wake up, have your breakfast, try to relax and then try to get some sleep in the afternoon but, to be honest, I didn’t get much! Normally I don’t have nerves, but I did that day, and I have to admit that I was more nervous because it was against a club from my home country, Ajax. After a long day of waiting, you go to the team bus, see the fans waiting outside and you see that they’re ready. The excitement is in the air and everything is building up to that 90 minutes, then you put your kit and boots on and, once the game starts, the nerves are gone and you enjoy it.

"I think we played a great game, we really were the better team and we deserved to win. The goals were maybe a bit lucky but we created chances and we were there, pushing and pressing them all the time. Our tactics were clear: we played a lot of long balls to Marouane Fellaini but that was our strength in that game. We played that game at our best, we were really compact, hard to get through and it was well deserved. I think everybody saw the real difference between the Dutch League and the Premier League in that game: strength and physicality.
Daley Blind says

"Because it was against Ajax, the final was more involving and emotional for me."

"Because it was against Ajax, the final was more involving and emotional for me. I talked to a lot of their guys after the game, swapped one of my shirts with Davy Klaassen and I keep his shirt hung up at home with my own and my medal. They remind me of a special night. Not many players manage to win a European trophy in their career, so to have done it makes me very happy.”