Hello all! Welcome back to an article that is not a Top 5 List! I wanted to dedicate a full post, fully showcasing a team I talked about in an earlier article. That team is AFC Ajax, a Dutch club who currently sit 2nd in their league, the Eredivisie. I brought them up in my article about the return of the Netherlands to international attention and I feel they deserve more than a mention. With that being said, let’s get into this!
History of Ajax
AFC Ajax is one of the premier names in Dutch soccer. For years their teams have competed for titles and reigned as a dominant side in the country. Globally, they have established a reputation of developing and selling young stars to bigger leagues throughout Europe. Some of their more well-known stars who are still playing are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christian Eriksen, Luis Suarez, and Toby Alderweireld. In the 1990’s, the club enjoyed a specifically prolific run, specifically from 1994-96. The peak of this run came in 1995 when Ajax remained unbeaten in the 48 games of European and domestic football. They won the Champions League and Eredivisie that year, led by legendary players like Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, Edgar Davids, and Edwin van der Sar. Remarkably, the team contained even more stars that went onto dominate across Europe. (Google the roster, they were stacked!)
Where They Are Now
Although Ajax may not have the team they did in 1995 anymore, they are still a very talented side. The squad is loaded with players who could be future stars someday or are already making their name known. Most notably, young, Dutch, midfielder Frenkie de Jong has earned a move to FC Barcelona for $85 million! Fellow countryman Matthijs de Ligt is an up and coming defender who is bringing in interest from clubs like Juventus and Manchester City. Many of the core players in the side are of Dutch origin and could feature for the national team at some point in their career.
Despite having an incredibly young team, Ajax is still highly competitive. They have progressed to the Round of 16 in the Champions League and are currently 2nd in the Eredivisie. The average age of a player for Ajax is 23.5 years old which is very young. Ajax prides themselves on bringing up young talent and one of the reasons they are so successful with this approach is simply because they play their young talent often. Experience is so vital for prospects and Ajax gives out many chances to help players reach their full potential. Because of this, they are one of the top clubs in the world for producing young stars. If your favorite team is looking for a future star, Ajax is definitely on their radar. Are you looking for the next big thing as a fan? Look at Ajax, you’re sure to find one!