I will take this occasion, since tomorrow is Kings Day back in Holland, to celebrate  the country I was born in.

We are famous for our coloured tulips, bicycles, museums, grass and of
course our red light district. But what really makes Holland special to
me is the natural and simple life of the Dutch.

We are known to get along with everybody wherever we are in the world. We understand the
importance of connecting with one another and that’s why no matter
where we spend our lives, our children learn to speak English at a very
early age.

My heart still beats for Amsterdam. A city brimming
with beauty whether you experience it on land or by boat. This is what
makes it so unique and charming.

I love the variety of cultures that can be found throughout the narrow streets of Amsterdam.
Surinamese, Turkish, African, Middle Eastern – people of all backgrounds
living together in vibrant harmony.

With this comes not only great friends, but also great food.

A huge variety of incredible dishes are served at every corner of the
city. It is the only place in the world where you can leave your house
any day, at any time and within five minutes have our traditional fries
with mayo.

But of course, one of the main reasons I love Amsterdam is because it kick started my career.

I still remember sitting on the underground as a 17 year old, listening
to my music, covered from head to toe in mud because I had just come
from training.

Ajax’s home stadium the Amsterdam Arena was under
construction and every time I’d pass it by, I would look out of the
Metro’s window and pray to God that one day my feet would touch it’s

Little did I know that one year later I would be making my
debut on the stadium’s opening night, against none other than Maldini’s
AC Milan.

That night my nerves were running so high that when my
coach, Louis Van Gaal, told me to get ready I warmed up so much I was
tired before I had even stepped foot on the field.

I will never forget where I came from.