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"A real football city" is Patrick Kluivert's description of Amsterdam, venue for the 2013 UEFA Europa League final, and he should know.
The former Netherlands striker, his country's 40-goal record scorer, was born in the city and schooled at AFC Ajax, the club for whom he registered the winning goal in the 1995 UEFA Champions League final. So he is perfectly suited to his role as ambassador for next May's UEFA Europa League showpiece taking place at the Amsterdam ArenA.
It will be the second European final at the venue, which previously hosted Real Madrid CF's UEFA Champions League triumph over Juventus 14 years ago, and Kluivert does not hesitate to talk up its virtues. "It's a fantastic stadium, without a doubt, it is very special," he told UEFA.com. "All the facilities that a stadium needs are present in the Amsterdam ArenA. It also hosted the Champions League final in 1998, and that was a great success.
"When you can host such a big final in your own city, it is fantastic – for the KNVB [Dutch FA], for Dutch football," added Kluivert, who today combines work as assistant coach to Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal with the post of youth team coach at FC Twente.
Twente are among the 48 teams preparing to begin the UEFA Europa League group stage on 20 September, together with two of his former clubs, Newcastle United FC and PSV Eindhoven. The 36-year-old says he will be watching out in particular for Dutch internationals, including Wesley Sneijder at FC Internazionale Milano. "I always enjoy watching Inter, and I also watch all the boys who play in the Dutch national team, because I am the assistant coach."
Click on the video for the full Kluivert interview.
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