‘He shows drive and fun’

‘He shows drive and fun’
Ramiz Zerrouki with mask

NOS Soccer

When Jan Streuer saw the ball fly off the head of Ramiz Zerrouki into the Sparta Rotterdam goal just like that last Thursday, he thought back to last winter break with great pleasure.

The technical director of FC Twente rejected an offer from Feyenoord for Zerrouki for the umpteenth time. Now it was the Algerian midfielder who made the crucial 1-1 in the last minute against Sparta in the first game of the playoffs final, allowing Twente to continue to dream even more emphatically of European soccer.

“I am very happy that he stayed then,” Streuer said yesterday at RTV Oost. “I am 100 percent sure that if we had let him go then, we would have said now that if he had stayed we would have moved on,” he said.

In the summer Zerrouki still made the switch to De Kuip, Twente accepted an offer of 8 million euros in May.

Streuer saw Zerrouki only get even better in recent months. “He has continued very professionally. He shows drive and fun. And this goal makes it all the more beautiful.”

No header

And yet the 25-year-old Zerrouki hardly ever scores. He had only scored one this season, in 39 games. But that second one, in injury time against Sparta, might be of great value for the Tukkers.

“Luckily it fell at the last minute and we have a good starting position for the return,” spoke Zerrouki himself, who to his surprise also scored with his head.

“I’m not really a header offensively, defensively I am. But Sadílek gave a great ball, which fell between them well. I put my head against it and it fell in. A great moment.”

Watch the summary of Sparta Rotterdam – FC Twente

Zerrouki is not the only person involved in Twente’s current success who is working on his last days in Enschede. Streuer and coach Ron Jans are also leaving this summer. Streuer is proud of what the 64-year-old exercise master has accomplished in three years at the club.

He certainly doesn’t think Jans’ role is overrated. “We just played fantastic soccer. You can want a lot as a coach, but the trick is just how you put that into a team.”

“In doing so, he made it a whole. When you see how that goal by Zerrouki is celebrated, how everyone then goes at it. They play as a team.”

A tribute at the Grolsch Veste to Ron Jans, with Jan Streuer on the right

Much will be different at Twente next season. Besides Streuer, Jans and Zerrouki, Virgil Misidjan and Vaclav Cerny might also leave.


Arnold Bruggink will follow in Streuer’s footsteps, as the new technical man. Streuer tempers expectations: seasons like the past two, in which FC Twente finished fourth and fifth consecutively in the premier league, are not to be taken for granted.

Still, Streuer thinks Bruggink can do well. “Who knows, he might put together an even better team than me. It’s an experience field, of course, but I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Kayleigh Williams

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