Ajax Amsterdam’s South African midfielder, Thulani Serero, says that Nelson Mandela’s death hit him hard as he prepares for tonight’s UEFA Champions League game against AC Milan.
The 23-year-old Bafana Bafana man was on the scoresheet when his side claimed a famous victory over Barcelona last month, and will be hoping to do the same against the Rossoneri tonight.
However, the former Ajax Cape Town man goes into tonight’s game with a hint of sadness, following the passing of Tata Madiba late last week.
Speaking to The National, Serero, who was in bed when he heard the news, said, “It hit me hard. He is the one who made things possible for black South Africans like me. I would not be where I am without him.”
The diminutive midfielder also explained what his head coach, Frank de Boer, said to him following the exit of Christian Eriksen. He went on, “He said we all have to step up now that Christian has gone. Christian had become one of the best in the world in his position, so it is impossible to just replace a player like that, but we all have to take responsibility.”
Serero’s Ajax take on Milan at 21h45 tonight as they look to leapfrog their opponents and secure a place in the next round of the competition.