This year’s Ajax

de-ligt-ajax-celebrationAFC Ajax is a Dutch professional club.  It used to be a dominant force in European soccer. However, in recent times, as trends changed and money become the primary means to success, clubs like Ajax stayed behind  in trophy acquisition as richer clubs were able to easily acquire the top players. Ajax was reduced to a club known for its  superior soccer academy which creates some of the world’s finest players. Some widely recognized names are: Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Wim Kieft, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Kluivert. Every year, a couple of  players join Ajax’s first team straight from its academy. Once these young players establish themselves and prove their value are sold to richer clubs. It is a process driven by economics. Ajax has a good income from this process but, unfortunately,  it is stripped off  its potential superiority.

If you are not watching Ajax’s games this year, then you missing a lot. While most of the soccer discussions are around the fight between Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title and Juventus’ performance with Ronaldo in its ranks, Ajax have been delivering one of the greatest season performance.  With an average squad age of 24, on April 16, 2019 they stunned Juventus 2-1 to reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1997. And this feat just after Ajax had eliminated Real Madrid with a 4-1 away victory to overcome a 1-2 home defeat. Both Real Madrid and, especially, Juventus were amongst the favorites to win the Champions League.  Ajax were the underdog. No more.  Now, on Tuesday, April 30, Ajax will face Tottenham in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the second leg in the Johan Cruyff Arena scheduled on Wednesday, May 8. With apologies to Tottenham fans, we can only root for Ajax. After the end of this season, Ajax will be reduced to nothing once more. With some transfers already confirmed, some in the making and some rumored, it is already given that Ajax’s income will surpass any previous records but the magnificent team that has been put in place and has become so enjoyable to watch will not exist much longer.

Do not miss the remaining games of this Ajax team.

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