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Bassey felt sorry to hurt Rangers friends following Ajax's Champions League win

22:54 GMT+3 13/09/2022
Calvin Bassey of Nigeria and Ajax.
The Nigeria defender found it difficult to witness his former teammates going through the anguish of the Champions League thrashing last week

Nigeria defender Calvin Bassey has explained how he felt sorry for his former Rangers teammates as his Ajax thrashed them 4-0 in the Uefa Champions League match at the Johan Cruyff ArenA last week.

Bassey left Rangers for Ajax for a club record £20 million after two impressive seasons with the Scottish giants which saw him win the Premiership and Scottish Cup as well as reaching the 2021-22 Europa League final.

In what was his first meeting with his former teammates, the highly-rated defender was part of the Ajax team that romped past Rangers and while he was happy to begin his European adventure with a huge win, Bassey felt some remorse for those he left behind.

"I consider the Rangers FC players my friends,” Bassey told Dutch outlet Soccer News.

“I played with them for two years, shared joys and sorrows. And it is not easy to hurt friends so much. But for me personally, and my family, it was a wonderful evening.”

The 22-year-old made his senior debut for Rangers two years ago after joining from Leicester City’s U21 team and had a standout campaign last season, featuring in 50 games in all competitions. He left the Gers after making 65 appearances and scoring one goal.

After enduring a tough start that saw him sent off on his Ajax debut during the Dutch Super defeat to arch-rivals PSV Eindhoven, Bassey has become somewhat undroppable for the Eredivisie champions, playing in four straight league games on his return from suspension.

His performances have earned him admiration among Ajax fans and former players with club legend Ronald de Boer among those singing his praises.

“I’ve been really impressed by Bassey,” De Boer said last week. “He was unlucky to be sent off in the Super Cup. He started the game well and we have already had the people who thought he was just a big lump, charging around kicking people, changing their opinions.”

“He gives Ajax strength and speed and on the ball he’s alright. Of course, he can still improve on that part of his game but I think he showed in the last few games that he’s undroppable.”

Bassey featured in his second straight Champions League game as he was among the starters for Ajax in Tuesday’s clash against Liverpool at Anfield.