Chahid had years of ups and downs at Ajax: ‘My mindset has certainly changed’

After a few years with ups and downs, Rida Chahid has found his feet at Ajax. The Ajax U18 midfielder had to deal with growing pains and injuries since his arrival in 2014, but that has made him a stronger person. In an interview with he looks back on the past few years.

At the age of nine, Chahid came over from FC Purmerend. At that club he heard after a match that scouts were present and that two players had noticed. ‘As cheeky youngsters, we then immediately went to those men and asked who they were. Of course they didn’t answer that, not much later it became known that it was me. After a four-week project at Ajax, I was hired.’

Chahid remembers very well when he heard that he was admitted to Ajax’s youth academy. He himself played a match with FC Purmerend, while his father was present at De Toekomst to discuss everything. ‘After my duel, my mother came to me on the phone to say that I had been hired. It was a dream come true.’

Childhood years at Ajax with ups and downs

In his youth at Ajax, Chahid suffered from injuries and he also suffered from growing pains. Often the talent did not manage to play more than four or five games in a row. As a result, his early period at Ajax was ‘very difficult’, he says. ‘In addition, my grandmother fell ill and my parents separated when I was eleven. I haven’t always been able to get the best out of myself.’

Ultimately, Chahid now tries to see the positive in the difficult period. ‘It has made me stronger as a person, so that I now deal better with setbacks. Two years ago I was out for two months because of a hamstring injury. I was able to give it a place, turn the button and started training harder to come back as strong as possible. My mindset has certainly changed in this respect,’ says Chahid, who is no longer so shy. “I’ve become confident and dare to speak up.”

Chahid has found a place at Ajax

Because of his injuries, Chahid has been able to work on himself a lot. Two years ago, according to the data, he was still the least fit of the team. Now he’s on top. ‘That was due to my many injuries and investing in myself during those periods,’ said Chahid, who has now really found his place on the field. “I was always left winger and scored a lot. As a winger I was put left back and then in midfield, that’s my position now and I like it the most.’

Anyone who follows Chahid and Ajax O18 a bit knows that he makes the gesture ‘WV’ with his fingers after a hit. Those letters stand for Weidevenne. “It’s my neighborhood where I grew up. We agreed with our friends to make that gesture. My teammate Raphaël Sarfo, some boys from AZ and Julian Rijkhoff from Borussia Dortmund, among others, come from there. But there are also boys who are talented in the music world and who are making strides. We all make that gesture together, that is our sign. When a boy from Weidevenne achieves something, he makes that gesture.’

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