AZ keeper: It was self-defence

The Costa Rican was confronted by the 19-year-old, who was

arrested, after 37 minutes of the contest at the Amsterdam ArenA

but fought him off before kicking him twice as he lay on the turf.

Some critics have questioned the aggression used by Esteban but he

insists he was acting in self-defence and driven by fear. He told

reporters in his homeland: “I was very scared. “The first thing I

thought was that he had a knife. I thought only to defend myself. I

was afraid he might be armed. “To anyone who thinks I was overly

aggressive, I invite them to experience what I experienced and then

judge. “I have children, brothers, a father and mother and I don’t

know if the person coming towards me is going to give me a kiss or

cut me in half. “I am not proud of what I did but I just did what

anyone else would do but these people must learn they cannot get

away with it.” Esteban, 22, was sent off for his part in the

incident, prompting furious AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek to take his

players from the field and the game to be abandoned with Ajax

leading 1-0. The KNVB have subsequently rescinded the player’s red

card but not yet ruled whether the tie should be replayed or resume

from the 37th minute. Esteban revealed he had received messages of

support from Ajax, but believes the Amsterdam club were not to

blame. “Frank de Boer has apologised as have a few of the players

but I told them they did not have to be ashamed of an idiot,” he

said.