Champions League: The Ajax generation that Europe has fallen in love with
Champions League Knocked out Juventus from the Champions League
Juventus have become Ajax‘s most recent victim, following on from Real Madrid in the last round of the Champions League, as the Dutch side’s generation has caught the attention of football fans across Europe.
Erik ten Hag‘s side have managed to come out victorious from grounds such as the Santiago Bernabeu and the Allianz Stadium, and several players have already attracted interest from European powerhouses.
He departed Southampton at the age of 30 to return to the Netherlands, where he has arguably played the best football in his career. Against Real Madrid he scored one and assisted another two goals, and he also impressed with his performances against the Old Lady.
He is fast and unpredictable, looking to find space from the first minute of the game. Ziyech scored in both legs against Madrid but could not beat Wojciech Szczesny in the quarter-finals, although he did have a wonderful goal ruled out in Turin.
His equaliser at the Johan Cruyff Arena gave hope to Ajax ahead of the second leg at the Allianz Stadium. The Brazilian is able to attack with both his right and left foot and is dangerous for any opposition defence.
At the age of 32 he has become the foreign outfielder who has made the most appearances for Ajax in the history of the club. He scored the fourth goal at the Santiago Bernabeu and assisted Matthijs de Ligt for the winner against Juventus.
The Dutchman, who has already signed for Barcelona, dictates the tempo of his team’s game. He does everything in midfield; pressuring, dispossessing and, most vitally, distributing the ball to his teammates.
He became the youngest captain in the history of the Champions League‘s round of 16 stage against Madrid, and he has played more than 100 games with Ajax at the age of 19. He has all the skills to become the best centre-back in the work, both defensively and in terms of attacking from set-pieces.
With his ability to hold the ball and maraud forward towards the opposition area, he provides the interface between the midfield and the attacking trident, something he proved in Ajax‘s first goal at the Allianz Stadium.