Erik ten Hag’s bewitching young side take on Juventus on Wednesday night aiming to continue the fairytale run that has seen them eliminate Real Madrid
For Ajax, any visions of Juventus spool straight to memories of the one that got away. In May 1996, Louis van Gaal’s team were on the verge of becoming the first to retain the European Cup in its modern form. They met the Serie A champions in the final at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico and took it to penalties despite going behind. Destiny seemed to be favouring them, but Edgar Davids and Sonny Silooy missed from the spot and nobody in Amsterdam needs reminding that nothing has quite been the same since.
The revenge narrative has its place in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg, but times have changed dramatically and the tie’s significance is far broader. Ajax, four-times winners of the world’s most famous club trophy, should not really be here; not if the runaway accumulation of wealth by an increasingly powerful few achieved its ultimate end. Twenty-three years ago the assertion would have seemed bizarre, even if warning signs were mounting. For now, at least, the clock has been turned back and they occupy the kind of perch that used to be familiar.
Source: Football News
Link : ‘It’s good for the Champions League’ – Ajax aim to upset Juventus