You can’t have a website about Amsterdam without writing about AFC Ajax Amsterdam. The soccer club was founded on March 18, 1900. and is one of the largest and most storied clubs in European football. Ajax won their first National Championship in 1918. From that point on Ajax could always be found at or near the top of the Dutch table. Nowadays Ajax is still the biggest club in the Netherlands and is known for their excellent youth academy. With manager Marco van Basten Ajax is still in the race for the Dutch championship as they continue their pursuit of AZ Alkmaar.
Trophies and league titles
The historic win of 1918 was the first of what currently stands at an astonishing 29 league titles for the Amsterdam club. Ajax started their European campaign in 1961. They were the first Dutch participant of an European competition. Starting with the magical victory in 1971 Ajax went on to win three consecutive European Champions Cups. In 1972, led by the world famous Johan Cruijff had one of the best seasons ever by a professional soccer team winning the National Championship, the Dutch Cup, the European Champions Cup and the World Cup. These times of success were very hard to continue or even to match in the 80’s. In 1995 Ajax Amsterdam had succes again: winning the European Cup and World Cup. You can find a overview of all their trophies here.
From ‘De Meer’ to the ‘Amsterdam Arena’
Nowadays Ajax plays their home games in the Amsterdam Arena. Before they moved to their current stadium they called ‘De Meer’ stadium their home. It was there that Ajax would call home fore over 60 years and be the place that the club would come to dominate Dutch soccer and grow into a power across Europe. “De Meer” was also the place where Ajax would develop it’s world famous youth training program and develop some of the worlds best football players, a philosophy that is even more important to their success today.
The Amsterdam Arena isn’t for being the home of success, in Holland it’s known for the worst playground in the Dutch league. They have replaced the grass over a dozen times, but it still isn’t any good. But it is a great stadium in which Ajax exploits the commercial goals of soccer.
Youth Academy in Amsterdam
As said, Ajax is known for their excellent youth academy. Every generation brings forth some superb players. Famous players from the latest generation are Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, John Heitinga and Nigel de Jong. Other world renown players that come from the Ajax Academy are Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Frank Rijkaard and Patrick Kluivert. The last ones were all part of the success team of 1995. In Ajax’ current selection are a lot of youth products, who may have a great future ahead of them are Maarten Stekelenburg, Kenneth Vermeer, Urby Emanuelson, Gregory van der Wiel and Siem de Jong. Maarten Stekelenburg is also the current number one goalkeeper of the Dutch National team.
Learn more about Ajax on their official website.