IM ALWAYS BUILDING AND INVESTING IN MY PASSIONS
Exclusive Interview with Ryan Babel
Babel began his career at Ajax in 1998, working his way up through the youth team and into the senior squad. He played three seasons for the first team before he was transferred to Liverpool in mid-2007, where under three successive managers he failed to secure a regular first-team position. Babel was sold to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in January 2011, for a sum around half of that which Liverpool paid for him. His time at Hoffenheim was marred with disciplinary problems with three managers at the club. In the summer of 2012, Babel bought out the remaining final year of his contract, making him a free agent, and re-signed a one-year contract with Ajax. After this season, Babel went on to sign with Kasımpaşa on 21 June 2013. Babel often was linked to a return to the Premier League during his time in Turkey, before ending rumours by signing for UAE side Al Ain FC in July 2015. In the summer of 2016, Babel signed a 3-month contract with Deportivo la Coruńa. He proved his worth by scoring 5 times in 12 games. Through his good game at Deportivo la Coruńa Babel has earned a contract for two and a half years with Turkish champion Besiktas in January 2017. In January 2019 Ryan signed a contract with Fulham till the end of the season. At the end of June 2019, Ryan signed a 3-year contract with Galatasaray. In the winter of 2019 Ryan signed a half-season contract with his first club Ajax.
Who was the most influential person to you as a child?
The most influential person to me as a child was my Father. My father was very strict and always monitored what I was or was not doing; he was a real disciplinarian. With the exception of football, I was unable to participate in the activities that other kids were doing. I appreciate the impact of my father’s disciplinary approach on my life, and the major influence it had in developing within me a foundation of discipline, commitment, strength and dedication.
What did it mean to you and your family when you were asked to sign a professional contract with the club?
When I was asked to sign a professional contract with Ajax, it was literally a dream come true. It was truly the manifestation of the hard work of my youth. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity, and knew that I had to work even harder to sustain it on a long-term basis.
You’ve played for some very big clubs across various different countries, what would you say has been the biggest difference between all clubs? In terms of football and also lifestyle?
The biggest difference between all the clubs I have played for is the varying cultures of success. For example, the UK evaluates success through a work hard, get your hands dirty, and then work harder lens. In Holland, the focus is more on the technical/ skill aspects of the game, if your touch is good or bad.
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