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'I was quite nervous' – Onana reflects on Ajax comeback against Besiktas

20:52 GMT+3 25/11/2021
Andre Onana
After 10 months of absence, the 25-year-old played his first game for the Sons of the Gods against the Portuguese outfit

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana revealed he was nervous heading into Wednesday’s Champions League encounter against Besiktas.

The Cameroon international has been out of action since January 2021 after failing an out-of-competition doping test.

However, he returned to the Dutch side after serving his suspension having been reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in June.

Notwithstanding the awe-inspiring form of Remko Pasveer, the Indomitable Lion was named in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI.

And he reflected on his performance against the Black Eagles – where they triumphed 2-1 at the Vodafone Park in Istanbul.

"I was quite nervous before the game, but my teammates helped me through it. I'm especially happy that everything went well,” Onana told the club website.

"It had been a long time since I was between the sticks. To play a match on this stage is crazy. I was quite nervous.

"We came here to keep a clean sheet. But I'm happy with the team's comeback. We played well in the second half.

"Noussair Mazraoui and Zakaria Labyad said to me: 'Andre, you're not normally like that'. But I told them it had been a long time since I played and that's why I was nervous. But I'm here to help the team when they need me."

The Samuel Eto’o Academy and Barcelona product also talked about his relationship with teammate Remko – who joined Ajax on a two-year contract from top-flight side SBV Vitesse.

"I have a good relationship with Remko,” he continued. “He's doing really well and I'm happy about that.

“I'm not going to compare myself to him when I haven't played for so long. I'm just really happy to be back in the team.”

Onana would be hoping to get Ten Hag’s trust in goal when the Sons of Gods travel to Sparta Rotterdam for Sunday’s league game.

Unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions, Ajax would be eyeing maximum points to steer clear of second-placed PSV Eindhoven.

After that, they will try Willem II for size on December 2 before welcoming Sporting Lisbon to the Johan Cruyff Arena in their last Champions League game five days later.