Europa League

We were young, and scared of Mourinho’s Man Utd in 2017 Europa Cup final – Onana

Andre Onana has revealed the reason his Ajax side lost to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in the 2017 Europa Cup final was due to fear, and naiveté.

The Inter Milan shot-stopper revealed during an interview with DAZN that he and his AJax teammates lost the final match even before they stepped on the pitch.

Recall in 2017, Manchester United had major injury problems but goals from Paul Pogba, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan handed the Red Devils a 2-0 win at Friends Arena, Solna, in Sweden.

André Onana, 26, revealed he, and his teammates played that game in fear of Manchester United.

“Yes, and I played with fear, a lot of fear. And after that game I told myself ‘I’ll never play with this fear on me again’. If with Inter we play against Real and Barcelona I’m not afraid. If it’s 22 against 11 I’m not afraid. I don’t have to be afraid on the pitch, of anyone.

“I lost the Europa League final because of fear, we lost that game before we even played it. We had to play against Manchester United, we arrived in Stockholm, where the 2017 final was being played. In training I called Van der Sar and told him ‘I wasn’t well, I’m not playing this final’.

“He answered me by saying ‘I am old and I don’t have gloves, you go and play this game’. I was 19 years old. We woke up on the morning of the game with seven sick players. We were young.

“We were in the tunnel, I saw De Gea just behind me, six months earlier I was playing PlayStation using him. And now I’m playing against him. I had recently been promoted to the first team at Ajax.

“Also in the tunnel Amin Younes, one of the most important players we had, came up to me and said: ‘Did you see Valencia’s arm? Phew, I can’t play against him!’”

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