Mislintat open to longer stay Heitinga: ‘John is number one’
Mislintat does not immediately think of Bosz: ‘Heitinga is the trainer now, he is on one’
A surfboy who can never be caught in a tie. More honest than is occasionally good for him in the soccer world. But also a master scout, with “diamond eyes” because of his ability to discover gems on the international fields. Think of such birds of paradise as Robert Lewandowski, Henrich Mchitarjan, Pierre-Émerick Aubameyang.
Who is Sven Mislintat, who has signed a contract until mid-2026 with Ajax as technical director? “I was born in Dortmund and grew up in an environment with many tradition clubs. If you are 50 years old, you have seen many great achievements by Ajax. It’s an iconic club.”
“And yes, also a difficult club, but that’s the case with every tradition club. It’s the same with Dortmund, Arsenal and Stuttgart where I worked. a nice challenge. Of course there are expectations from supporters and from the club, but that is also positive pressure. I see it as a nice challenge.”
On immaculate white sneakers, a fashionable white shirt under his signature black jersey, the German comes knocking on the future. Officially, his contract starts on May 19, but in fact Mislintat has been at it for months. “In February I got a phone call from Edwin van der Sar. Then you start preparing to have as much knowledge as possible at the interview. And I enjoyed the talks, like the ones with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and John Heitinga.
With Huntelaar’s help, Mislintat will set the technical policy. “Assistant is too modest for someone with his track record. I hope we can work well together. Except when Schalke plays against Dortmund, because there will certainly be some ‘trashtalk’ then.”
John is now the trainer, he is on one.
Mislintat hopes for good cooperation with Huntelaar: ‘Except when Dortmund plays against Schalke’
About Heitinga, Mislintat is also remarkably positive. The interim coach after the dismissal of Alfred Schreuder earlier this season recently indicated that he was waiting for clarity for the upcoming season. Mislintat does not rule out Heitinga remaining coach of Ajax. “Of course that possibility is there. He is the trainer and is doing very well. Today I have my first conversation with him.”
‘Heitinga is number one’
For many followers, it is already almost a foregone conclusion that Peter Bosz will return to Amsterdam, whether in combination with Heitinga or not. Bosz himself did not hide his interest.
Watch the excerpt with Bosz in Studio Voetbal here:
Bosz still hasn’t had a call from Ajax: ‘Would like to talk’
Not for Mislintat. “One plus one is not always two,” said the German. “Peter and I worked together briefly at Dortmund, but then I also quickly went to Arsenal. And the fact that I polled him to become trainer at Stuttgart has nothing to do with Ajax. John is the trainer now, he is on one.”
Getting to know club
Signing a trainer is not his first priority, Mislintat said. “I’m going to have conversations now. Getting to know the people. It’s about team spirit: I want to be a team player with open lines of communication. I want to get to know the club, although in a club with more than 500 employees that is not easy.”
“The most important thing is that we finish second and win the cup. And then turn a good transfer summer, where hopefully we can keep the better players. That won’t be easy either, but I’m sure there will be a good selection after the summer.”