He was eleven years old when he was tested by Ajax. He trained three times and played a friendly game in which he scored once. Quite a good internship, thought Myron Boadu. At Ajax they thought differently. A red cross came after his name: not good enough.
The striker of SC Buitenveldert from Amsterdam, for example, ended up with that other premier league club from Noord-Holland. AZ called him two weeks after he came home in tears from his final interview at Ajax and gave him a chance. When Boadu played against Ajax in the following years, he was extra stimulated. Then he wanted to show that they were wrong. That he was a potential top football player.
He no longer has such feelings, says Myron Boadu seven years later. "That was especially something in the first two years. Then I was extra driven. "
Still, it was impossible not to think of his rejection on Sunday evening when, in the last minute of the weekend's Premier League cracker, he scored the winning goal against the club who had not thought he was good enough.
In an exciting but otherwise flat match, Boadu crawled for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana and headed in the 1-0. AZ is now also at the top, albeit with a lesser goal difference than Ajax, which made a poor impression without injured toppers such as Quincy Promes, David Neres and Daley Blind. Ajax lacked decisiveness and the urge to win. The team seems to be ready for the winter break. To rest.
Scream For AZ the return to their own stadium could not have been better. It was the first home game since part of the grandstand collapsed in August. Since the roof has been largely removed afterwards, people in the wider area of the AFAS Stadium will have heard what it meant for their own fans to win that pot. After the 1-0 a primal cry of happiness rose in the dark evening sky. The boys are back in town , it says on the scarves that supporters held up.
The man who unleashed the joy did not even play his best match. Hanging in the forefront - Boadu barely has to defend Arne Slot with him - he missed some well-played opportunities. No man can equal his speed, but his goal attempts lacked precision. A point change? "I don't think there are many trainers who pull Myron aside," said coach Slot. "He can make a goal any time."
At Ajax they have already experienced that. But with his hit, the striker did not prove so much that they made an estimation error seven years ago in Amsterdam. Scientists who have specialized in the breakthrough of professional football players state that players under the age of 12 cannot be predicted how good they will actually become later. Scouting under that age sometimes has more of a gamble than progressive insight.
You could say that AZ took the right guess with him. Boadu matured at lightning speed on the fertile grounds of the youth complex in Wijdewormer and was only fifteen years old when he first participated with Young AZ in the third division, the fourth level in the Netherlands. He immediately scored twice with the top amateurs of GVVV. A kid played like a guy.
Debut in Orange Then it went quickly. Boadu debuted in 2018 at the age of seventeen in the first of AZ and became the first player from the twenty-first century to make his debut in the Dutch national team, including a goal. They know a player to cherish in Alkmaar, where they consider the striker together with attacking companion Calvin Stengs as one of the greatest pearls of their own youth.
With such players and an equally refined combination game, AZ is becoming increasingly competitive in the competition with the nearby Ajax. It is evident that both clubs will always fish in the same pond. While AZ also discovers a talent, from Den Helder to the Gooi, they almost always find scouts from Ajax, which appeals to the imagination of many children.
Nevertheless, there are more and more players who consciously choose AZ or stay there when Ajax comes. They believe in the vision of the Alkmaar club leadership and prefer greater chances of success at AZ over the rat race towards fame and wealth in the Arena. Of course, there will always be players who will be seduced. They cannot be stopped, they know at AZ. But against the doubters, the club can screen with the stories of players like Boadu. Piepjong, basic player in the league and with eleven goals top scorer of the league.
Boadu itself apparently remains shy under all attention. He talks softly to the journalists who crowd around him on Sunday. As if he was surprised by all the attention after his goal. Yet the major clubs in Europe will already know of its existence. And otherwise his agent Mino Raiola will take care of that, the man with hotlines to the biggest clubs on the continent.