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Top facts about AFC Ajax, The Best Football Club in Netherlands

Tue 15 March 2022 | 5:30

The Dutch football club has been around for ages now and we thought it was time to talk about the Top Facts about AFC Ajax and tell you all you need to know.

Amsterdam Football Club is a Dutch football club based in Amsterdam. Ajax, often known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam, or just Ajax, is a professional football club headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that competes in the Eredivisie, the Dutch football league's top tier. With 35 Eredivisie titles and 20 KNVB Cups, Ajax (named after the great Greek hero) has been the most successful club in the Netherlands. It has competed in the Eredivisie since its founding in 1956, and it is one of the country's "big three" clubs, together with Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven, that have dominated the competition.

Ajax has been one of the world's most successful clubs. Ajax was the seventh-most successful European club of the twentieth century, according to the IFFHS, and the World's Club Team of the Year in 1992. Ajax was the second-most successful European club of the twentieth century, according to the German magazine Kicker.

The club is one of only five to have earned the privilege to keep the European Cup and wear a multiple-winner badge, having won it three times in a row from 1971 to 1973. They won the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup, and the European Cup in 1972, completing the continental treble. It also defeated Glasgow Rangers in the first organized UEFA Super Cup in 1972 (played in 1973).

The 1995 Intercontinental Cup, 1995 UEFA Super Cup, and the 1995 Champions League, in which they defeated Milan in the final, were Ajax's last international titles; they lost the 1996 Champions League final on penalties to Juventus. Ajax was named World Team of the Year by World Soccer magazine in 1995.

Ajax plays at the Johan Cruyff Arena, which was renamed in 2018 after opening as the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996. They've previously played at the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium and De Meer Stadion (for international matches).

Top Facts about AFC Ajax, de Godenzonen

We will try to cover as much information as we can in this article to make sure you wouldn’t miss anything important or worth noting.

Ajax Fans and Supporters

Ajax is recognized for having strong core supporter groups, the most well-known of which are F-Side and VAK410.

F-Side was formed on October 3, 1976, and is located in rows 125–129 of the Johan Cruyff Arena, just behind the goal.

Their name comes from the former placement of the group on the F-side of the old De Meer Stadion. The F-side fans are responsible for much of the stadium's atmosphere, but they are also notorious for rioting during and after games.

If Ajax wins the coin toss in any match, they always play the second half of the game towards the stadium's south end.

VAK410 (English: Row 410) was founded in 2001 and is located on the top ring in rows 424–425, in the Zuidhoek (South corner) of the stadium.

The group was formerly located in row 410 on the stadium's northwest side, from which it gets its name, before moving to their new location in the stands in 2008.

VAK410 members are known for performing numerous pranks, such as raising enormous banners, to improve the stadium's atmosphere.

F-Side and VAK410 do not have seats in their parts of the stadium, therefore they must stand throughout the game.

In 2010, Ajax had roughly 7.1 million supporters across Europe, according to the official Football Top 20 of Dutch sports research organization SPORT+MARKT.

One of the Top Facts about Ajax is that this is much larger than rivals Feyenoord and PSV (1.6 and 1.3 million, respectively), putting Ajax in 15th place in Europe in terms of fan base.

According to the report, Ajax supporters accounted for around 39% of the Dutch population.

Ajax has a large fan base, and countless supporters attend its European matches, with an average attendance of 48,677 spectators each international match, placing the team in 12th place in Europe for highest attendance, ahead of high-profile teams such as

Milan

and

Chelsea

, another one of the Top Facts about Ajax.

Ajax Rivalries

Ajax's archrivals are

Feyenoord

from Rotterdam, one of the Top Facts about Ajax. Every year, both clubs compete in De Klassieker ("The Classic"), a competition between teams from the Netherlands' two major cities.

Ajax and Feyenoord were the only two clubs in the Netherlands to win national titles, as well as continental and even worldwide glory, during the 1970s.

A match between the two clubs became the measure for determining who was the best team in the Netherlands. The Klassieker is the most well-known of all Dutch rivalries, with all games sold out.

In the eyes of the general public, the match contrasts "Ajax's graceful and elegant football against Feyenoord's indomitable fighting spirit"; the capital's self-assurance versus Rotterdam's blue-collar attitude Both on and off the field, matches are noted for their tension and violence.

Several violent events involving opposing fans have occurred throughout the years, leading to the present ban on away supporters in both stadiums.

The lowest point occurred on March 23, 1997, when supporters of both clubs gathered on a field near Beverwijk, where Ajax fan Carlo Picornie was critically injured, one of the

Top Facts about Ajax

; the incident is known as the "Battle of Beverwijk."

PSV

is also an Ajax opponent, but these encounters do not have the same level of tension and rivalry as those against Feyenoord.

The rivalry with PSV has been going on for a while, and it originates from a variety of factors, including differing interpretations of whether recent national and international triumphs of both clubs are related, as well as the alleged competition between the Randstad and the province.

The matches between these two clubs are known as "De Topper" ("The Topper"), and they feature two of the most trophy-laden sides in Dutch football, as well as a battle of two opposing schools of thought.

PSV has traditionally competed with a workmanlike spirit, preferring a more strong 4–3–12 or 4–2–3–1 system over the frivolous 4–3–3 system popular in Amsterdam.

While Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff helped to pioneer Total Football in the 1960s and 1970s, Kees Rijvers and Guus Hiddink developed a separate concept in Eindhoven in the late 1970s and 1980s.

As a result, one of football's great intellectual rivalries has emerged, an ideological conflict that is rapidly becoming as fierce and intense as the matches between Ajax and Feyenoord, another one of the Top Facts about Ajax.

Ajax Home Stadiums

Het Houten Stadion ("The Wooden Stadium"), Ajax's original stadium, was built out of wood in 1911.

Ajax later played in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, which was constructed for the 1928 Summer Olympics.

The Olympic Stadium, designed by Jan Wils, is the name of the venue. Ajax relocated to De Meer Stadion in east Amsterdam in 1934, which was designed by architect and Ajax member Daan Roodenburgh, who also designed the club's original stadium.

It had a capacity of 29,500 people, and Ajax played there until 1996. The club would frequently play at the Olympic Stadium for major European and national matches, which could hold roughly twice as many fans.

Ajax moved to a new home field in the southeast of the city in 1996, dubbed the Amsterdam Arena, which has been renamed the Johan Cruyff Arena since 2018.

The Amsterdam city government spent $134 million to construct this stadium. A total of 54,990 people can be accommodated at the stadium. 

In 2006–07, the average attendance was 48,610, rising to 49,128 the following season. One of the Top Facts about Ajax is that the Arena was the first contemporary stadium in Europe to have a retractable roof, and it set a precedent for other modern stadiums built in Europe in the following years.

The Arena has a bad reputation in the Netherlands for having a bad grass pitch due to the retractable roof that, even when open, blocks too much sunlight and fresh air.

De Meer Stadion was destroyed, and the land was sold to the city council. The location is presently occupied by a residential neighborhood.

The initials "AJAX" are currently on the facade of the youth training grounds De Toekomst, near the Johan Cruyff Arena, and are the only remnants of the previous stadium.

Ajax Emblem and Colors

When Ajax was created in 1900, the club's symbol was simply a picture of an Ajax player. Following the club's elevation to the top level in 1911, the crest was significantly adjusted to match the new uniforms.

The club emblem was first introduced in 1928, and it featured the head of the Greek hero Ajax. In 1990, the logo was altered once more, this time into an abstract variant of the previous one.

The portrait of Ajax is still present in the new logo, but it is designed with only 11 lines, representing the 11 players on a football team, one of the

Top Facts about Ajax.

Ajax's first uniform was all black with a red belt tied around the players' waists, but that was quickly replaced by a red/white striped shirt and black shorts. The colors of the Amsterdam flag are red, black, and white.

When Ajax achieved promotion to the top flight of Dutch football for the first time under manager Jack Kirwan in 1911 (then the Eerste Klasse or 'First Class,' subsequently termed the Eredivisie), the team was compelled to alter its colors because Sparta Rotterdam already wore the same uniform.

Special away kits were not available at the time, and newcomers were required by football association laws to change their colors if two clubs in the same league wore the same jerseys.

Ajax wore white shorts and a white shirt with a wide, vertical red stripe across the chest and back, which is still their uniform.

Ajax Academies

Johan Cruyff

, Edwin van der Sar, Gerald Vanenburg, Frank Rijkaard,

Dennis Bergkamp

, Rafael van der Vaart, Patrick Kluivert, Marco van Basten, Wesley Sneijder, Maarten Stekelenburg, Nigel de Jong, Frenkie de Jong, and Matthijs de Ligt are just a few of the many Dutch talents who have come through the ranks at Ajax.

Ajax also provides local talent to the Dutch national youth teams on a regular basis, one of the Top Facts about Ajax.

Due to mutual agreements with foreign clubs, the youth academy has also signed foreign players as teenagers before making first-team debuts, including Belgian internationals Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, and Thomas Vermaelen, as well as Dutch internationals Vurnon Anita and Javier Martina, who represent Curacao.

Ajax has now expanded its talent search to include Ajax Cape Town in South Africa. Rob Moore assisted in the formation of Ajax Cape Town. Ajax also had a satellite club in the United States, known as Ajax America, until it went bankrupt.

Some Ajax Cape Town young players, such as South African international Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero, and Cameroonian international Eyong Enoh, have been selected into the Eredivisie squad.

The Netherlands national team in 1995, the year Ajax won the UEFA Champions League, was almost entirely made up of Ajax players, with

Edwin van der Sar

in goal, Michael Reiziger, Frank de Boer, and Danny Blind in defense, Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, and Clarence Seedorf in midfield, and Patrick Kluivert and Marc Overmars in the attack.

When Ajax teamed with George Kazianis and All-Star Consultancy in Greece to build the Ajax Hellas Youth Academy in 2011, it became the club's first youth academy outside of the Netherlands.

The headquarters are in Nea Smyrni, Attica, with the primary training site on the island of Corfu. There are 15 football youth academies in Greece and Cyprus.

Eddie van Schaik, who also serves as a coach and consultant for the club, is in charge of introducing the Ajax football concept at several Greek football training camps.

Ajax established the ACA (Ajax Coaching Academy) in 2016 with the goal of sharing information and hosting a range of camps and clinics for both players and coaches.

Ajax History

Ajax was founded on March 18, 1900, in Amsterdam. In 1911, the club was promoted to the highest level of Dutch football, and its first major success came in 1917, when it won the KNVB Beker, the Dutch national cup.

Ajax won the national title for the first time the following season. In 1918–19, the club successfully defended its title, being the only side in the Netherlands Football League Championship to go undefeated, one of the Top Facts about Ajax.

Ajax was a formidable regional force in the 1920s, winning the Eerste Klasse West division in 1921, 1927, and 1928, but it couldn't sustain its dominance at the national level.

This began to change in the 1930s, when the club won five national titles (1931, 1932, 1934, 1937, and 1939), making it the most successful Dutch team of the era.

In 1942–43, Ajax won its second KNVB Cup, and an eighth Dutch title in 1946–47, the club's final season under Englishman Jack Reynolds, who had previously overseen all of the club's national championship victories, as well as its 1917 KNVB Cup victory.

The first season of the Eredivisie, the Netherlands' new professional league, was played in 1956, with Ajax as a founding member. Dennis Bergkamp, a young attacker who initially featured under Cruyff in 1986, established himself as a regular goal scorer for Ajax in the 1988–89 season.

Bergkamp led Ajax to the Eredivisie title in 1989–90 and was the league's top scorer in 1990–91, 1991–92, and 1992–93. Ajax won the UEFA Cup in 1992 under

Louis van Gaal

's leadership, becoming only the second club, after Juventus, to win all three major European club competitions.

In 2010, Ajax appointed Frank de Boer as manager, and in the 2010–11 season, he led the club to its first league title in seven years and a club-record 30th title overall.

Following that, he won back-to-back titles in 2011–12 and 2012–13, repeating his three-year winning streak as a player in the 1990s.

Ajax won the Eredivisie again in 2013–14, becoming the first team in history to win four straight league titles. De Boer resigned as Ajax head coach in May 2016 after placing second to PSV in both 2014–15 and 2015–16.

After taking over the club, Peter Bosz led them to their first European final in 21 years, the 2017 UEFA Europa League final.

They lost to Manchester United with the youngest lineup ever in a European final, with players averaging 22 years and 282 days.

They finished second in the Eredivisie for the third consecutive season, this time to Feyenoord. Ajax had an incredible UEFA Champions League run in the 2018–19 season.

Ajax qualified for the competition in the second qualifying round after finishing second in the 2017–18 Eredivisie.

They qualified for the group stage after victories over Sturm Graz, Standard Liege, and Dynamo Kyiv. Ajax was placed in a group with Bayern Munich of Germany, Benfica of Portugal, and AEK Athens of Greece.

Ajax came in second place in this group, qualifying for the knockout stages, where they were matched against Real Madrid, the three-time defending champions.

They defeated

Real Madrid

4–1 in the away encounter after losing 1–2 in the first leg, startling the defending champions in their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu, with an aggregate score of 5–3, one of the

Top Facts about Ajax. 

Following the match, L'Equipe gave Dusan Tadic a perfect score of ten.

As a result, Ajax advanced to the quarter-finals, where they were paired with Italian champions Juventus.

They tied 1–1 in the first leg at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Ajax came from behind to win 2–1 and 3–2 on aggregate in the second leg at Juventus Stadium. Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt scored the game-winning goal, sending the club to its first Champions League semi-final since 1997. They'd be up against

Tottenham Hotspur

of England.

Ajax defeated Tottenham 1–0 away from home in the opening leg of the semi-final. Ajax scored twice in the first half of the second game to take a 3–0 aggregate lead.

However, Ajax lost due to the away goals rule as Lucas Moura scored three times in the second half, including one in the sixth minute of added time.

When the 2019–20 Eredivisie was ruled void, Ajax was in first place on goal difference, stopping them from being Dutch champions for the 35th time, but they still qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League.

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source: SportMob

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