At the site of one bull Ajax in the Champions League semi-natural. In another way, it's a miracle.
The biggest club in the Netherlands won the tournament three times in 70 years, Johan Cruyff's lead. The new name came in 1995, when Louis van Gaal led the young team to the top. Thus, Ajax European heavyweight.
But football has changed a lot since 1995.
This is the time when a few rich countries sweep the rest of the team off the field. Teams, Ajax have less money now and will I could not beat Real Madrid and Juventus over two games.
But this, so did Ajax. Despite the fact that they have not won in four years.
How do they do it?
Thus, one may wonder how the hell they have come so far.
Over the past four years at Ajax eventually in second place in the league. The best thing they have done in Europe, where they reached the final of the Europa League in 2017, where they lost 2-0 to Manchester United.
But it was Ajax and the United States met today, it can quickly become ugly for Solskjaer.
This season, Ajax managed. They are in the final of the Cup and leads the league on goal difference ahead of PSV. Ajax scored 159 goals in all competitions, the number does not even Cruyff & Co achieved.
And they suffered a success in Europe, where opponents much larger and richer. Ajax drew twice against Bayern Munich in the group stage before they knocked out Real Madrid (5-2 on aggregate) and Juventus (3-2).
The results surprised great. The annual Deloitte list of the 30 clubs in the world with the highest income, with the & # 39 are the other semi-finalists – the Spurs, Liverpool, Barcelona – all in Ajax's top-10 is not even included in the report.
If Ajax met Real Madrid, director Marc Overmars said that Gareth Bale has received as much as did Ajax team.
Overmars is just one of the architects behind Ajax. Former Arsenal winger leads the sports strategy, along with Edwin van der Sar, goalkeeper legend from the past Juventus and United, which is currently the general manager of the club.
In December 2017 chose Erik Overmars hiring ten Witch.
Ten Haga was a defensive player in a number of Dutch clubs before he led the Go Ahead Eagles on the promotion prior to flight in 2013. In the same year he took the second team in Bavaria.
Summer employees Bayern as Pep Guardiola. Ten Haga was there for two years.
– I learned a lot Guardiola. It has a sensational philosophy, said Ten Hag.
Guardiola is a game that ten have since realized, first in Utrecht, where he was named coach of the league in 2016, and now in Ajax. The first season he was able, however, to bring Ajax to the top in the league.
In the same summer were ten witches and Overmars down to discuss the future. One of the first things they did was to hold a meeting with the club's seven major talent.
Names of talent was Andre Annan, Matthijs de Ligt, Donnie Van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong, Justin Kluivert, Kasper Dolberg and David Neres. Both Overmars and ten Hag know that these players were the future of the club.
The meeting was held in order to convince them to stay in Ajax. Players showed a video in which they have been compared to the legendary Ajax in their position.
– We said: "If you want to become a legend in Ajax, you have to win something big," Van der Sar said.
All but Kluivert left.
At the same time I realized ten Witch and the team Overmars need routine. Thus, they have increased the budget for salaries to restore the Blind defender (on United) and playmaker Tadic (Southampton).
The result was some of the best football played in Europe this season.
Ajax actually managed to & # 39; to combine several favorable factors. They have a body made up of players from the academy, one of the most productive on the continent, where the talents teaches the style of play, based on the high-pressure, short passing, technique and attitude.
This style is similar to Barcelona and Guardiola City uses.
After Ajax had a coach who has taught this style of Guardiola. And then they added to profiles with experience in Prem & # 39; er League.
On the back looms now De Ligt, 19-year-old captain, who hit a winning goal against Juventus. In front of him he was playing another Dutch prodigy, De Jong (21). Often the one who starts to attack, with their ability to take the ball under pressure and drag the player in a dangerous position.
At the edges of plague Brazilian David Neres (22) and Moroccan Ziyech (26), both of which intersects the inner path. And the best player … no.
If Ajax knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus, was there Tadic as a "false nine", ie tip, which wanders where it will no fixed position. This role creates an unpredictable pattern of motion, confuses the enemy and enable Ajax on the & # 39 brings together in small spaces with a quick touch.
Whatever the court, and the opponent is playing Ajax in the same way. Only two teams in the tournament turned out to be less than the length of passes per game than they are: Paris Saint-Germain and the city.
So it is not only young and talented Ajax. In addition, they are bold.
It does not matter
Unfortunately, they are also living on borrowed time. The consequence of this team as Ajax builds a strong team, that the richest clubs to pick up talent.
Ajax is good that kept them so much in the last year, but every time a layer manifests itself in Europe, they chose each other in the same year. It happened when Porto José Mourinho won the Champions League in 2004.
This happened with the Monaco team that reached the semi-finals in 2017.
De Jong actually already signed in Barcelona in the transfer in the amount of 725 million dollars. Most expect that Ligt disappears in the summer. Development shows how the team is rare, the Ajax became in modern football.
It's easy to enjoy them while we can.