AFC Ajax, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is one of those clubs that have had a history of being absolutely amazing in generating young talent. From Ruud Gullit to the Icon Johan Cruyff and more modern talent like Ryan Gravenberch and Jurien Timber, Ajax has produced the best of the best when it comes to young football stars.
The Dutch Ethics of AFC Ajax
At AFC Ajax, the training of top football players takes center stage. That youth academy is also known as the breeding ground of Dutch football, you are expected to give your best if you wanna reach that next level in your footballing career. Players like Gravenberch, Timber, and Even Davy Klassen have given everything to the team and success has followed.
Kids Become Men
Now let’s talk about the famous 2018/19 Ajax team that reached the champions league Semifinal with a team nearly full of young stars produced from their academy. With famous wins against Juventus, Real Madrid and so much more this team of youngsters was setting the world alight. The slightest of losses to Tottenham_Hotspur_F.C. in the semi-finals meant the dream was over but this team proved they could fight with the best.
Johan Cruyff and Other Exports
The kid who became an icon, Johan Cruyff grew up in Amsterdam so playing for Ajax was always the dream. In his playing days for Ajax, Johan Cruyff scored 190 goals in 240 games, winning multiple trophies and also winning the Balondor which is the pinnacle for a footballer. Unfortunately in March 2016, Johan passed away but Ajax made sure his legend would live forever as they named their stadium after him.
As with many Academies, their best players don’t stay together for long and usually go out to test themselves in and around the footballing world. Players like Christian Eriksen, Rafael Van De Vaart, and Luis Suarez have all gone on to reach the highest of highs in the world of football with the latter winning multiple champions leagues with Barcelona. Ajax has been a factor in terms of producing quality footballers, and with players like Ryan Gravenberch and Jurien Timber scouted by Europe’s elite, it won’t be long until more Ajax players are spread around the footballing world.
1966 and More European Success
Ajax’s most famous team, the team of 1966/67 with many youth players such as Johan Cruyff, and Co Prins led this team to unthought-of success. Doing the domestic double in winning the Eredivise and the Oranje Bekker Cup, while also reaching the quarter-finals of the champions league, they were a great team that has gone down in football history and it was all thanks to their amazing youth academy.
It would be until 1971/72 when the famous team of 66 would reach their finest maturity and win the European Champions club cup, a competition they would win again the following year, the 1972/73 season. It would be almost 20 years before Ajax would reach the pinnacle of European football, where they won the Uefa Champions League with a new crop of young talent.
Ajax is a club that once had European royalty with a team made of youth players who became footballing legends. With players like Prince Anning, and Gabriel Mishehouy in the academy making big steps towards great footballing careers it won’t be long until this sleeping giant is back amongst Europe’s elite.