Sons of the Gods
Founded: 1900, Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena, Capacity: 54,990
Ajax have dominated in the Netherlands since the 1930s, but they also long stamped their mark on European competitions. As effective as they are spectacular, Ajax won the European Cup three seasons in a row, with a generation that composed the backbone of the Netherlands team that were runners-up in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. Renowned for their youth academy and their keen nose for recruiting players. Although Ajax are the most popular club in the country they are also the most disliked by a great number of fans, especially by the supporters of Feyenoord, their eternal rivals, against whom they play in the Klassieker. Ajax have had a unique club culture since 1917 and a style of play called “total football”. It consists of discipline, physical fitness, technical craft and collective intelligence. This is handed down from one generation to the next, thanks to a training program that is identical for each of the club’s teams from the youngest age, and particularly for the members of “De Toekomst” (“The Future”), the academy that trains the most promising players. The name of Johan Cruyff will forever be associated with Ajax. Not only was the striker the main architect of the club’s success during the most successful period when they won the European Cup three years in a row (1971, 1972, 1973) but he embodied the spirit of the club even after he left it. Cruyff arrived at Ajax when he was just ten years old, and bu eighteen he was the most important player of his team. Elegant, inventive and always effective and playing with number fourteen. In 1900, when the club was founded, the emblem of Ajax was just a picture of an Ajax player. The crest was slightly altered following the club’s promotion to the top division in 1911 to match the club’s new outfits. In 1928, the club logo was introduced with the head of the Greek hero Ajax. The logo was once again changed in 1990 into an abstract version of the previous one. The new logo still sports the portrait of Ajax, but drawn with just 11 lines, symbolizing the 11 players of a football team.