‘Getting a finger behind it turned out to be enough’

‘Getting a finger behind it turned out to be enough’
Wellenreuther saves on Kudus’ chance

NOS Soccer

After a difficult few weeks under the crossbar as Justin Bijlow’s replacement, a huge moment of glory followed in minute 84 of Ajax-Feyenoord for goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther. Had he not gotten his finger behind a ball shot in by Mohammed Kudus, the world might have looked very different for his club.

Wellenreuther didn’t have time to think, when that ball from Kudus flashed toward goal on his left. For the German goalkeeper, leased by Feyenoord from Anderlecht, did not seem to be overly comfortable in his skin lately.

Wellenreuther saved Feyenoord on instinct: ‘Getting finger behind it turned out to be enough’

Major blunders he did not make, but neither did Wellenreuther pick up points. While the Netherlands did get to know him that way during his time with Willem II, between 2017 and 2020. “I wasn’t in my best phase myself, but was finally able to make a difference and help the team. I’m incredibly happy with that.”

That save at 2-2, a few minutes before Lutsharel Geertruida headed in the winning goal for Feyenoord, was purely on instinct. “Klaassen missed the ball and I saw Kudus looming free shortly in front of me. I then tried to make my goal smaller and one finger proved enough to take the ball out.”


That one finger may well have been decisive in Feyenoord’s title chase, although Wellenreuther does not want to think about it too much just yet. “In eight weeks it may have proved to be a crucial moment, not yet,” he said.

The German would rather not talk about the national title just yet, even now that it is up for grabs with a six-point lead over Ajax and a relatively easy remaining playing schedule.

“It is good to stay modest, that is precisely why we are at the top,” he said. “We know from where we came and we give everything every week. We don’t go crazy and just focus on the next game: Sparta away.”

So Wellenreuther remains bread and butter, but also understands that the supporters, who gave him and the other Feyenoord players a hero’s welcome at De Kuip, already feel like they are in seventh heaven. “It was also fantastic to win against Ajax precisely in Amsterdam. That welcome from the supporters was crazy, it seemed like the whole Kuip was there. Their passion is wonderful.”

Kayleigh Williams