AJAX

Oranje legend Marco van Basten began playing football with local side EDO aged just seven, where his extraordinary talent soon came to the fore.
Powerful yet sublimely skilled, Van Basten debuted for the Amsterdam giants aged 18 in April 1982, coming on as a substitute for another Dutch icon in Johan Cruyff.

Marco van Basten was top scorer in the Eredivisie for 4 seasons running between 1983-1987 - his best season was in 1985/86 where he racked up 37 goals in 25 games, winning the European Golden boot. In his final season in Amsterdam he scored 47 goals in all competitions, and scored the goal that won the Cup Winners Cup.

Plagued by injury it’s testament to Van Basten’s ability that he still achieved so much. Quite possibly the most complete number-nine of all time, Van Basten combined pace, power and an intimidating six-foot-two frame with an adhesive touch, all-round technique and deadly finishing. When on form, it made him near unplayable. By the time AC Milan came calling he was the hottest property in world football.

Spotted by Rinus Micheals and signed for Ajax in 1970, Johan Neeskens was a shining light in the team that won 3 consecutive European cups between 1971 and 1973


Technically superb, a prolific goalscorer and tireless runner, he was the platform that elevated Johan Cruyff to become the worlds best player in the seventies

Famous for his impetuous headers and his penalty kicks; regarded as authentic canons, he was signed by Barcelona, along with Cruyff, the following year after an impressive World Cup in West Germany in 1974

After his spell in the USA and a short-lived stay at UD Levante in Spain, Cruyff returned to play in his homeland, rejoining Ajax on 30 November 1980 as "technical advisor" to Leo Beenhakker, but within a year he was back playing and led Ajax to the league title in 1982 and 83

One notable incident from this era was a famous goal he scored against Helmond Sport in 1982. Ajax were awarded a penalty which Cruyff went to take but instead of shooting at goal, he nudged the ball sideways to his Ajax teammate Jesper Olsen who in return passed it back to Cruyff who tapped the ball into the empty net, as Otto Versfeld, the bemused Helmond goalkeeper, looked on

1972 was a particularly successful year for Ajax and Cruyff. The Dutch club won a second European Cup, beating Internazionale 2–0 in the final, with Cruyff scoring both goals.  This victory prompted Dutch newspapers to announce the demise of Catenaccio, the traditional Italian style of defensive football in the face of the new wave and overwhelming 'Total Football'

At the beginning of the 1970–71 season, Cruyff had suffered a long-term groin injury. He made his comeback on in October 1970 against PSV. In this game, he did not wear his usual number 9, which was in use by Gerrie Mühren, but instead used number 14. Although it was very uncommon in those days for the starters of a game not to play with numbers 1 to 11, from that moment onwards, Cruyff's number was 14, even using the number with the Dutch national team

Spotted by Rinus Micheals and signed for Ajax in 1970, Johan Neeskens was a shining light in the legendary team that won 3 consecutive European cups between 1971 and 1973.
One of the first box to box midfielders - "He was worth two men in midfield," said teammate Sjaak Swart. 

Technically superb, a prolific goalscorer and tireless runner, he was the platform that elevated Johan Cruyff to become the worlds best player in the seventies.
In 2017 he was included in the FourFourTwo list of the 100 all-time greatest players, at the 64th position.

Famous for his impetuous headers and his penalty kicks; regarded as authentic canons, he was signed by Barcelona, along with Cruyff, the following year after an impressive World Cup in West Germany in 1974.

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