Fearless Babel relishing Dortmund clash as Cruyff rues Ajax's Champions League demise

Fearless Babel relishing Dortmund clash as Cruyff rues Ajax's Champions League demise

View photo

Fearless Babel relishing Dortmund clash as Cruyff rues Ajax's Champions League demise

Ryan Babel has quashed the notion that Ajax has already lost their Champions League opener with Borussia Dortmund.

The German champions are heavily favored to overcome the Eredivisie holders on Tuesday, with the luxury of home advantage playing into the hands of Jurgen Klopp's charges.

Nonetheless, Babel, who returned to Ajax on transfer deadline day in August, is remaining positive about his side's prospects, but insists it must be clinical in its approach.

"Our squad has a lot of experience in the Champions League," the former Liverpool ace told reporters.

"We have not lost in advance. There are opportunities awaiting us and we must exploit them."

However, the Netherlands international's view is not shared by Johan Cruyff, who believes the Amsterdam giants will suffer a disappointing fate in Group D against the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City, as well as BVB.

"This year, I have mixed feelings in the Champions League," the legendary attacker wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.

"Of course it's nice that Ajax play against the champions of Spain, England and Germany.

"But at the same time, you realise that it is very difficult for the club to qualify for the knockout stages."

Cruyff also reflected on the fall from grace that Ajax has endured since its appearance in the final of the 1996 competition, where it lost to Juventus on penalties.

"This situation is mainly caused because Ajax were placed in the third pot of the draw," he continued. "Over the last 17 years something clearly went wrong.

"How can it happen that a team that won the Champions League in 1995, and in the final again a year later, now find themselves in the third pot?"

Follow Goal.com on Twitter to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's Facebook page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • D.C. United looks to solidify position vs. Orlando City

      D.C. United will have a chance to improve its postseason prospects when it travels to play Orlando City SC in the final match of the regular season Sunday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. D.C. United (11-9-13) is fourth in Major League … More »

      AP - Sports - 51 minutes ago
    • Toronto FC aims for first-round playoff bye

      Toronto FC will be looking to improve its playoff position and secure a first-round bye when it concludes the regular season against the Chicago Fire on Sunday at BMO Field in Toronto. Toronto FC (13-9-11) is third in Major League Soccer's Eastern … More »

      AP - Sports - 57 minutes ago
    • Timbers look to end road woes in bid for playoff berth

      Portland has one final chance to open the door for defending its MLS Cup from last season. To make it happen, the Timbers will have to do something they haven't done all season: win on the road. Portland (12-13-8) needs a win over Vancouver on … More »

      AP - Sports - 2 hours 28 minutes ago
    • Stars activate F Hemsky after WC injury

      DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Stars have activated forward Ales Hemsky from the injured list after he sustained a groin injury during the World Cup of Hockey. … More »

      AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
    • Lacazette scores but Lyon's defense falls apart in 3-1 loss

      Lacazette scores but Lyon's defense falls apart in 3-1 loss

      Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette remembered how to take penalties but his teammates forget how to defend in a 3-1 home loss to Guingamp in the French league on Saturday. A fifth defeat in six games heaps the pressure on Lyon coach Bruno Genesio. … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 hours ago