Niklas Moisander remarked at how he and his Ajax teammates became sure on Wednesday night of how to face up to Barcelona.
The Dutch side were defeated 4-0 in this Champions League opener, but only after controlling periods of play and missing a number of chances themselves, including a second-half penalty.
“We thought we knew how to play against Barcelona and after the first half we were sure,” Moisander reflected to UEFA’s official website afterwards.
“We thought we could keep the ball and make chances and until half-time were managing it. Things went really well.
“After the break we did not seem to have the power to keep on at the same level. Then Barca showed they were the better team.
“Honestly, I think this shows we are still at the same level as last year. Against Real Madrid we had a couple of four-goal defeats and I would say that Madrid and Barcelona are the two best sides in the world.
“However, we are still confident. We knew how hard this experience might be and we know that if we play like we did in the first half we can beat anyone.
“Even after a four-goal defeat there are good things we can take from this game and move on. Messi is unbelievable.
“It is great to get the chance to play against the best in the world. It doesn't really need repeating – he is a fantastic player.”