Twenty-two years after its last semi-final of Champions League, the four-time champion of Europe Ajax Amsterdam resurrects the admiration and the myth of a sleeping giant. It is now a big debate about why and how the club of Amsterdam is again in trend.
It is more than twenty years, Ajax and its supporters were waiting for this scene, precisely since 1997. After winning in Turin, against Juventus, on April 16 (1-2), Matthijs de Ligt and his team validated their ticket for the semi-finals of the Champions League, a few weeks after dictating their law in Madrid, against Real.
It is a breath of fresh air for a club with a glorious past, and a place in last four of the Champions League chart. But the performance refers to the total football that made the reputation of this prestigious club in the world circuit.
If Ajax returned to the front of the scene, the Amsterdam club owes some part to the "velvet revolution" initiated by Johan Cruyff in 2010, after the elimination against Real in the Champions League.
The goal was to restore his identity to the club, his training, his atypical game. Five principles are listed, in this precise order: recruitment, education, creativity, attractive, collective.
Former footballers of the club have been appointed to strategic positions, such as Marc Overmars (Sports Director) or Edwin van der Sar (Executive Director), and in this process, Ajax has found its DNA.
In the current season, it can be recounted that all of these has made this institution regain its superb flair, including giving voice to former glories of Amsterdam or club specialists.
As a bonus, there is a tactical uplift in the game developed by the present flock of footballers. Johan Neeskens, the Dutch legend, who recognizes this team, said in an interview, "They have the will to attack, to tame the ball, this game turned forward which made the strength of his Ajax, that of the 70s."
Featured Image: (Facebook/Ajax Amsterdam)
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.