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PREVIEW MASTERS#42

MASTERS #42 was created in 'fluent combination play' with Master of Defense John Heitinga. The former professional footballer and current coach of Ajax O19 is phenomenally portrayed by Rahi Rezvani: completely out of the box, you have never seen John like this. Text: Bart-Jan Brouwer
Image: Rahi Rezvani & John van Helvert
Online editing: Mical Joseph

John

In a major interview, our guest editor-in-chief talks about his rich football career, his life in Spain, England and Germany, and his ambition: one day to become head coach of Ajax. He also reveals his 100 secret addresses, including many restaurants. Such as Wing's in Manchester, where there are signs on the wall of famous people who have eaten there: Maradona, Louis van Gaal and also Jaap Stam, who introduced the satay sauce there (known in the restaurant as Jaap Stam sauce). “Sometimes Mr. Wing the food at our house. Then he would drive up in his Bentley and hand over plastic bags with Chinese food.”

John gets that burgundy from his wife, Charlotte-Sophie Zenden, who grew up in Maastricht. Family means everything to him and he gets a nice podium in this edition. From his grandfather, who comes from Indonesia (a life story that reads like a boys' book) to his children: they all have their say. And of course also Sjaak Swart, whom he considers family.

John was one of the first to test drive the brand new New Land Rover Defender, which fits his name in terms of name. And showed us his one-off sloop in the making, which will sail through the canals this summer. Once captain at Ajax, now captain in the water. Of course, there is also a lot of football in this edition: ten intimates – from Sontje Hansen and Serginõ Dest to John Bosman and Simon Tahamata – elaborate on John's chances as head coach. And we were guests at The Tunnel Club during an Ajax home match (just before the corona period), experiencing the superlative of a match. This edition also surpasses stairs. Because just like John Heitinga, we aim for the highest.

Word from the editor-in-chief

“He enjoys trying out new restaurants with his wife, drives a Mercedes for the club and recently the New Land Rover Defender privately, has a one-off sloop made, has an OMEGA Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Black Black on the wrist ('black suits me'), knows the addresses in Madrid, London, Manchester and Berlin – cities where he played football – and had his dream house built in the center of Amsterdam. He is well-travelled, has taste, is curious... Welcome ingredients for being a guest editor-in-chief. An extra that I got: what a nice guy to work with! Approachable, down-to-earth, open. And, just like in football, full of commitment and willing to go to the max.

This led to exciting plans during brainstorming sessions in the offices of De Toekomst. A weekend at Liverpool, portraying John with delirious Everton fans (once a blue, always a blue), eating at his favorite restaurants, drinking coffee with former teammates such as Phil Neville and Sergio Agüero. Going to Belgium in the New Defender, having dinner with Sergio, talking about being a trainer with Red Devils national coach Roberto Martínez. Corona put an end to all those plans. But Heitinga is used to dealing with setbacks, because 'in football you experience disappointments more often than successes'. He showed himself to be flexible, adapted tactics and remained as enthusiastic as ever. The major interview was conducted through ten telephone conversations, between homeschooling and delivering meals for the Plate for our Heroes campaign. We did not use styling or make-up for photography for a while. We portrayed his grandfather, who plays an important role in his life (as a child, Johnny spent weekends and holidays with his grandparents) behind the window. It was made more difficult for us, but that made us feel challenged and we went even further. The result is a song to be proud of.

MASTERS #42 is a beautiful reflection of a great collaboration in a special time. All respect and thanks to the guest editor-in-chief. You're also great off the field, Johnny!” – Bart-Jan Brouwer, editor-in-chief

MASTERS #42

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MASTERS #42