The somewhat shy Salomon Kalou is not a great talker. The morning after making his debut for Feyenoord against Ajax – an honour reserved for few – the teenager spoke about it in measured terms. ‘It was a difficult game to come on as substitute in,’ whispered the youngster. ‘We were already 2-0 behind, but I still got a big thrill from my debut. It was nice to play against lads like Van der Vaart and Sneijder.’
Nerves didn’t really play a role for Salomon. ‘I had a lot of confidence. That’s why my first act was a strong run forward. I really wanted to make things happen. I wasn’t worried for a moment during the twenty minutes that I wasn’t doing my best. Unfortunately I didn’t score, but I didn’t get any opportunity to.’
Overall, Salomon was satisfied with his performance, although coach Van Marwijk has yet to speak with him about it. ‘I hope he does so today. My team-mates congratulated me on my debut at the end. And now I hope to continue in the same way and play more often in the first team. I’ll always give my all in any event.’
Back in Rotterdam, Salomon received a call from brother Bonaventure. ‘Unfortunately he was unable to see the match, because he had to play for Auxerre. I hope to achieve as much as he has in football.’
Hopefully he’ll be able to do that in Rotterdam. ‘I already speak a little Dutch and I’m still very much at home here in Rotterdam. But I miss my brother a great deal. That’s why I call him very often, every day even. Bona gives me a lot of advice; that I should always play my own game and that I never have to be afraid. His tips help me a lot.’
While Salomon enjoyed making his debut, he didn’t actually watch the highlights programme on Dutch TV Sunday evening. Not just because Feyenoord lost the game either. ‘I don’t like watching myself on TV,’ laughed the youngster.