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Miralem Sulejmani Returns to the Pitch

November 3, 2011 by  


By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-10-18T194013Z_1742180748_GM1E7AJ0AG401_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-CHAMPIONS

Miralem Sulejmani (L) of Ajax Amsterdam challenges Luis Ibanez of Dinamo Zagreb during their Champions League soccer match at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb October 18, 2011. 

REUTERS/Nikola Solic

Serbian forward Miralem Sulejmani will be available to feature for Dutch giants Ajax this week in their crucial Champions League clash with Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. Sulejmani missed the Dutch team’s last two matches with a groin injury but the club’s official website has revealed that Sulejmani returned to training earlier this week.

Sulejmani, who is of Gorani Muslim origin, joined AFC Ajax on July 4th of 2008 from fellow Eredivisie squad AFC Ajax Heerenveen for a reported transfer fee of €16.25 million, breaking the Dutch transfer record. He signed a five-year contract with Ajax, keeping him there until June of 2013. Sulejmani even claimed in an interview that he himself didn’t even know that Ajax paid over €16 million for his services. He made his debut for Ajax against English Premier League club Sunderland on August 3rd of 2008.

Sulejmani made an impact almost immediately at Ajax. But first team opportunities subsequently became scarce. He almost was loaned out to English squad West Ham United in August of 2010, but his work permit application fell through. But after an off-season coaching change, he exhibited more confidence under new coach Frank de Boer and subsequently got more chances in the first-team.

Central defender Gregory van der Wiel is also available for selection having missed his side’s 4-0 win over Roda on Saturday due to abdominal pains. Ajax coach Frank de Boer could slot both players back into the starting XI to face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday night. Ajax hosts the Croatian outfit having defeated it 2-0 in Zagreb two weeks ago. Ajax were last year’s champions of the Dutch Eredivisie league. They currently at second position in Group D of the Champions League with four points.

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