Ajax defender Calvin Bassey was visibly emotional hearing the Champions League anthem ahead of his first game in the competition.
The 22-year-old started Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Rangers, who he ironically left for the Dutch giants in the summer transfer window.
Bassey lined up alongside his teammates for their Group A opener and the iconic anthem hit.
It struck a chord with the Nigeria international who all of a sudden looked ready to break down in tears after a prayer.
Bassey closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then opened them while letting out the biggest smile you’ll see all week.
A proper ‘I made it’ moment on the biggest stage. He followed it up with a solid performance alongside Jurrien Timber at the back, lasting the full 90 minutes against his former employers.
Edson Alvarez opened the scoring inside 17 minutes and Ajax were off to the races. Steven Berghuis and Mohammed scored within a minute of one another to make it 3-0 before halftime.
Alfred Schreuder’s side took their foot off the pedal in the second half, but Steven Bergwijn got on the scoresheet 20 minutes from the end to seal a dominant victory.
He would’ve been in the Champions League this season if he’d stay at the Ibrox and he discussed playing against his former employers at full-time.
“It’s been one of my dreams, all my life, to participate in the Champions League and to be able to do that was unreal,” Bassey explained.
“Obviously it was bittersweet because it was against my old team, but on a personal note it was just an amazing achievement for me and my family.
“It was amazing because last season we spoke about the Champions League. We had the Europa run so Champions League was the next step. It was nice to see both of us in the Champions League, even though I’d moved on.”
Image Credit: AlamyThe Scottish Premiership winner also described the out of body experience he had once the Champions League song echoed around the Johann Cruyff Arena.
He added: “It was weird when I closed my eyes. Not that I had dreams, but you imagine playing in the Champions League. When I closed my eyes I was like a kid watching myself. It was crazy to then just open my eyes and be the one actually there was a surreal moment for me.
“You always set the bar so high and you know if you don’t achieve it, it’s alright because it’s so high. It was honestly a blessing and just felt amazing.”
Ajax are currently top of the Eredivisie and unbeaten in the league.