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18.07.2009 13:58

Maxwell: “I expect a similar game to that at Ajax”

Marc Guillén

Barça’s new star signing, Maxwell, has told Barça TV and fcbarcelona.cat that the way Barça play reminds him of Ajax when he was there.

Happy to be in Barcelona, having heard great things about the club and admitting that he can both attack and defend, Maxwell had plenty to say in his first interview since signing for FCB.

When you arrived at the airport, you were met by loads of cameras. Are you starting to realise what Barça is about?

2009-07-17_PRESENTACION_DE_MAXWELL_007.JPG“Yes, you start feeling the climate, people coming up to you, cameras coming up to you, that’s when you realise how important this club is. I was just hoping to pass my medical and be able to officially become a Barça player. It’s a great feeling.”

How did your transfer come about?

“I had heard I a chance of coming here some time ago. The final stages were finished very quickly, but it all started months ago and I was always interested in coming.”

What did you think when they told you Barça are interested?

“I was delighted to come. I didn’t think twice. I want to thank everybody that has made this possible, the lawyers, the president, everybody that formed part of the project.”

What do you know about FC Barcelona?

2009-07-17_PRESENTACION_MAXWELL_08.jpg“There is a long history of Brazilians here. A lot of Brazilians have played here and there are others that are here today. I mainly know that. And then, because I had Koeman as a coach, he spoke a lot about this place, I gave me certain information.”

Who has given you reference about Barcelona?

“I have to publicly thank Koeman and Figo, who told me the most about the city, the club, the footballing tradition here, it all helps with my adaptation.”

What did you learn in your time at Ajax?

max_ajax.jpg“I was very young back then, a novice, and I met other players of my age that had high hopes of growing up in the football world. We played big games, in the Champions League, against big clubs, and I gained experience. Most of the players were young and looking to find their way. In European football I learned a lot, about tactical discipline in your game, the technical qualities of passing, it has made me a more complete footballer.”

Barcelona play a similar game to Ajax, because Cruyff imposed his style of play. Do you think that will help you adapt to Barça?

“I hope everything I learned at Ajax will help with my adaptation. I expect a similar kind of game, of a different quality, but the style of play will be similar. And I’ll have to concentrate because of the quality of football and the speed as well.”

You were originally a midfielder and then moved into defence. How did that change happen?

2009-07-17_ENTREVISTA_MAXWELL_005.JPG“At Cruzeiro and Ajax, depending on the game, the coach sometimes opted to play me at full back. Sometimes in a more attacking role, sometimes more defensive. I started adapting and learned more about defensive duties and it made me a more complete footballer. Always learning, trying to get better. I ended up adapting to it and now I play as a full back much more than I do in midfield.”

Such an attack minded player as you ended up playing in the very defensive Italian league like the Italian. Did you learn much there?

“In Italy you learn a lot about defensive aspects, especially tactics, and that’s basic for a defender. The first thing you do is learn, the first two years were mainly about adapting to Italian football.”

What players do you know and like in the current Barça squad?

QM3D9657.jpg“I have not had the chance to meet any of them, and it would not be fair to single anybody out. Of course Messi is an idol and probably the best player in the world, but it would not be fair to name one player in a team of such impressive quality. That said, I am sure that Messi is going to win the player of the year awards.”

You’re taking over from Sylvinho, a player that liked to move up into the attack. Are you similar to him?

“I am a Brazilian full back, and we generally like to support the attack. Of course, I have learned a lot about defending, so I am going to try to use both options: attacking and defending.”

Have you spoken to Guardiola?

“No, we haven’t spoken, but I’m looking forward to the chance.”
Maxwell: “I expect a similar game to that at Ajax”

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The private side of Maxwell
What kind of a person is Maxwell?

“I am a quiet, reserved person. I try to spend my free time with my family at home. I hope to make lots of friends here.”

What are your hobbies?

“My biggest hobby, crazy as it sounds, is playing football. I like fishing, doing sport on the beach, by the sea. But my biggest hobby is playing football. When I meet my friends, it’s what we do, it’s what I get most fun out of.”

Do you know Barcelona?

“I’ve never been here, but I’ve always wanted to because people say such marvellous things about the city. But I’ve never had the chance to visit.”

Who is your hero?

“Romario. I grew up watching him play at the World Cup, for Barcelona, for PSV. I grew up following his career and admiring his qualities, and always looked out for him on the pitch.”

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