- AJAX Amsterdam



AFC Ajax

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Ajax logo
Full name Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax NV
Nickname(s) de Godenzonen (the sons of the Gods), Ajacieden, de Joden (the Jews), de Amsterdammers (the Amsterdammers), I Lancieri (The Lancers)
Founded March 18, 1900; 112 years ago  (1900-03-18)
Ground Amsterdam Arena
(Capacity: 52,342[1])
Chairman Hennie Henrichs
Manager Frank de Boer
League Eredivisie
2011–12 Eredivisie, 1st
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈaːjɑks]), also referred to as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax (after the legendary Greek hero), is a professional football club from Amsterdam, Netherlands. The club is historically one of the three clubs that dominate the Dutch national football league (Eredivisie), the others being PSV and Feyenoord.

Ajax is historically one of the most successful clubs in the world; according to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh most successful European club of the 20th century.[2] The club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge; they won consecutively in 1971–1973. In 1972, they completed the European treble by winning the Dutch Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, and the European Cup; to date, they are the only team to keep the European Cup and accomplish the European treble. Ajax's last international trophies were the 1995 Intercontinental Cup and the 1995 Champions League, where they defeated Milan in the final; they lost the 1996 Champions League final on penalties to Juventus.

They are also one of three teams to win the treble and the Intercontinental Cup in the same season/calendar year;[3] This was achieved in the 1971–72 season.[4] Ajax, Juventus and Bayern Munich are the three clubs to have won all three major UEFA club competitions.[5] They have also won the Intercontinental Cup twice, the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, as well as the Karl Rappan Cup, a predecessor of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1962.[6] Ajax plays at the Amsterdam Arena, which opened in 1996. They previously played at De Meer Stadion and the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium (for international matches).




Ajax was founded in Amsterdam on March 18, 1900. With five national championships (1931, 1932, 1934, 1937, 1939), Ajax was the most successful Dutch team of the nineteen thirties. In 1955, professional football was finally permitted in the Netherlands. Ajax achieved their first Eredivisie championship in 1957 and again in 1960.

Johan Cruijff played at Ajax between 1959–73 and 1981–83, winning 3 European Cups; his #14 is the only squad number Ajax has ever retired. Cruyff came back to manage the club from 1985–88.

Ajax won the championship in 1966 and 1967, scoring a record breaking 122 goals including 33 from Johan Cruijff, and again in 1968, and reached the European Cup final of 1969 against AC Milan. In 1969–70 Ajax won the Dutch league championship, winning 27 out of 34 games and scoring 100 goals.

The 1971 European Cup final saw Ajax beat Panathinaikos 2-0 with goals from Dick van Dijk and Arie Haan. Ajax completed the treble of European Cup, Dutch National Championship and the KNVB Cup in 1972 before adding the Intercontinental Cup. In 1973, Ajax won a third consecutive European Cup and another Dutch championship.

The departure of Johan Cruijff for FC Barcelona in 1973 signalled the end of this period of success. In 1977, Ajax won their first domestic championship since 1973. Johan Cruijff returned to the club in 1981, with the club producing some talented youngsters in the mid-1980s such as Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.

Cruijff returned in 1985 as the new manager and Ajax ended the season with 120 goals, of which 37 were from van Basten. Ajax won the '87 Cup Winners Cup and reached the final again the following season. Cruijff departed prior to the second Cup Winners Cup final and with most of the 80's stars such as van Basten also leaving, Ajax once again declined.

Managed by Louis van Gaal, Ajax won the 1992 UEFA Cup. Dennis Bergkamp scored six goals in the competition and was the top goalscorer in Dutch football in 1991 and 1992.

Ajax won the UEFA Champions League 1994-95 and the league title. The season saw an unbeaten run in the national league and the final season for Frank Rijkaard, while striker Patrick Kluivert came off the bench to score a late winner to beat AC Milan in the final of the Champions League. Ajax went on to beat Brazilian side Grêmio on penalties to win the Intercontinental Cup. The following season, Ajax lost to Juventus on penalties in the European Cup final.

However, the subsequent period saw the departure of manager van Gaal along with an exodus of many key players including Clarence Seedorf in 1995; Edgar Davids, Michael Reiziger, Finidi George, and Nwankwo Kanu in 1996; Patrick Kluivert, Marc Overmars, and Winston Bogarde in 1997; Ronald de Boer and Frank de Boer in 1998; and Edwin van der Sar and Jari Litmanen in 1999.

Youth program

The club is also particularly famous for its renowned youth program that has produced many Dutch talents over the years – Johan Cruijff, Edwin van der Sar, Dennis Bergkamp, national team top scorer Patrick Kluivert, and former national team coach Marco van Basten. Dutch national first-team players Ryan Babel, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Maarten Stekelenburg, Eljero Elia, André Ooijer, John Heitinga and Nigel de Jong had also came through the ranks at Ajax and all are now playing for top-flight clubs. Ajax also regularly supplies the Dutch national youth teams with local talent. First team regulars Siem de Jong, Urby Emanuelson and Gregory van der Wiel are former youth internationals who made the successful step up to the senior side.

Due to mutual agreements with foreign clubs, the youth academy has also signed foreign players as teenagers before making first team debuts, such as Belgian defensive trio Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen (now with Arsenal) and winger Tom de Mul (now with Sevilla), all of whom are full internationals as well as Dutch youth international Javier Martina and Vurnon Anita of the Netherlands Antilles.

Ajax has also expanded its talent searching program to South Africa with Ajax Cape Town. Ajax Cape Town was set up with the help of Rob Moore. Ajax has also had a satellite club in the United States under the name Ajax America, until it filed for bankruptcy. There are some youth players from Ajax Cape Town that have been drafted into the Eredivisie squad, such as South African international Steven Pienaar (now with Spurs) and Cameroonian international Eyong Enoh.

In 1995, the year Ajax won the Champions League, the Dutch national team was almost entirely composed of Ajax players, with Edwin van der Sar in goal; players such as 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 attack.


Feyenoord from Rotterdam are Ajax's arch rivals. Every year both clubs play the "Klassieker" ("The Classic"), a derby match between the teams from the two largest cities of the Netherlands. The matches are known for their tension and violence, both on and off the pitch. Over the years several violent incidents have taken place involving rival supporters, leading to the current prohibition of away-supporters in both stadiums.

PSV is also considered a rival, but in terms of tension and rivalry, these matches are not as loaded as the duels with Feyenoord. The rivalry has existed for some time with PSV and stems from various causes, such as the different interpretations of whether current national and international successes of both clubs and the supposed opposition between the Randstad and the province.

Affiliated clubs

The following clubs are currently affiliated with AFC Ajax:

The following clubs were affiliated with AFC Ajax in the past:


In 1900, when the club was founded, the emblem of Ajax was just a picture of an Ajax player. 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.[11]


Ajax originally played in an all black uniform with a red sash tied around the players' waists, but that uniform was soon replaced by a red/white striped shirt and black shorts. Red, black and white are the three colours of the flag of Amsterdam. However, when, under manager Jack Kirwan, the club got promoted to the top flight of Dutch football for the first time in 1911 (then the Eerste Klasse or 'First Class', later named the Eredivisie), Ajax were forced to change their colours because Sparta Rotterdam already had exactly the same outfit. Special kits for away fixtures did not exist at the time and according to football association regulations the newcomers had to change their colours if two teams in the same league had identical uniforms. Ajax opted for white shorts and white shirt with a broad, vertical red stripe over chest and back, which still is Ajax's outfit.

Exterior of Stadium

Ajax's shirts have been sponsored by TDK, and by ABN AMRO from 1991 to 2008. AEGON has replaced ABN AMRO as the new head sponsor for a period of at least seven years.[12] On 1 April 2007, Ajax wore a different sponsor for the match against Heracles Almelo: Florius. Florius is a banking program just launched by ABN AMRO who wanted it to be the shirt sponsor for one match. The shirts have been manufactured by Umbro (1989–2000) and Adidas since 2000 (until at least 2010).[13]


Ajax' first stadium was built in 1911 out of wood and was simply called "The Stadium". Ajax later played in the stadium built for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. This stadium, designed by Jan Wils, is known as the Olympic Stadium. In 1934, Ajax moved to De Meer Stadion in east Amsterdam, designed by architect and Ajax-member Daan Roodenburgh. The stadium could accommodate 29,500 spectators and Ajax continued to play there until 1996. For big European and national fixtures the club would often play at the Olympic Stadium, which could accommodate about twice the number of spectators.

In 1996, Ajax moved to a new home ground in the southeast of the city known as the Amsterdam ArenA This was built by the Amsterdam city authority at a cost of $134 million. The stadium is capable of holding approximately 52,000 people. The average attendance in 2006/07 was 48,610, rising in the next season to 49,128. The ArenA has a retractable roof and set a trend for other modern stadiums built in Europe in the following years. In the Netherlands, the ArenA has earned a reputation for a terrible grass pitch caused by the removable roof that, even when open, takes away too much sunlight and fresh air. During the 2008–2009 season groundstaff introduced an artificial lighting system that has finally reduced this problem considerably.

The much-loved De Meer stadium was torn down and the land was sold to the city council. A residential neighbourhood now occupies the area. The only thing left of the old stadium are the letters AJAX, nowadays in place on the façade of the youth training grounds De Toekomst, near the Amsterdam Arena.

Jewish connection

Israeli flag at the Amsterdam Arena.

Historically, Ajax was popularly seen as having "Jewish roots", although not an official Jewish club like the city's WV-HEDW Ajax has had a Jewish image since the 1930s when the home stadium was located next to the Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam and opponents saw many supporters walking through this neighbourhood to get to the stadium.[14] Ajax fans (few of whom are actually Jewish[15]) responded by embracing Ajax's "Jewish" identity: calling themselves "super Jews", chanting "Jews, Jews" ("Joden, Joden") at games, and adopting Jewish symbols such as the Star of David and the Israeli flag.[15][16] Some sources say that Ajax fans began doing this after seeing Tottenham Hotspur fans employing similar symbolism.[17][18]

This Jewish imagery eventually became a central part of Ajax fans' culture.[16] At one point ringtones of "Hava Nagila", a Hebrew folk song, could be downloaded from the club's official website.[15] Beginning in the 1980s, fans of Ajax's rivals escalated their antisemitic rhetoric, chanting slogans like "Hamas, Hamas/Jews to the gas" ("Hamas, hamas, joden aan het gas"), hissing to imitate the flow of gas, giving Nazi salutes, etc.[15][17] The eventual result was that many (genuinely) Jewish Ajax fans stopped going to games.[15]

In the 2000s the club began trying to persuade fans to drop their Jewish image.[17][19] This most notably happened in January 2005, when Ajax tried to stop their Jewish image, because fans of rival clubs chanting anti-Semitic comments (translated from Dutch to English): "Ssssssssss… [the hissing sound of gas]. We're hunting the Jews! There is the Ajax train to Auschwitz! Sieg! Sieg! Sieg! German for 'victory', a quote from Hitler]."[20]


Current squad

Ajax squad in 2011.

As of July 6, 2011.[21]

For recent transfers, see List of Dutch football transfers winter 2010–11 and List of Dutch football transfers summer 2011.

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Netherlands GK Kenneth Vermeer
2 Netherlands DF Gregory van der Wiel
3 Belgium DF Toby Alderweireld
4 Belgium DF Jan Vertonghen (captain)
5 Netherlands MF Vurnon Anita
6 Cameroon MF Eyong Enoh
7 Serbia FW Miralem Sulejmani
8 Denmark MF Christian Eriksen
9 Iceland FW Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
10 Netherlands MF Siem de Jong
11 Netherlands FW Lorenzo Ebecilio
13 Netherlands DF André Ooijer
15 Denmark DF Nicolai Boilesen
16 Netherlands MF Theo Janssen (vice-captain)
17 Netherlands DF Daley Blind
No. Position Player
18 Uruguay MF Nicolás Lodeiro
19 Russia FW Dmitri Bulykin
20 Denmark MF Lasse Schøne
21 Netherlands FW Derk Boerrigter
22 Netherlands GK Jasper Cillessen
23 Armenia FW Aras Özbiliz
25 South Africa MF Thulani Serero
28 Morocco MF Ismaïl Aissati
29 Belgium MF Mats Rits
30 Netherlands GK Jeroen Verhoeven
31 Netherlands DF Ruben Ligeon
34 Netherlands DF Ricardo van Rhijn
37 Netherlands FW Jody Lukoki
39 Netherlands FW Davy Klaassen
42 Netherlands DF Dico Koppers

Retired numbers

As of the 2007–08 season, no player would wear the number 14 shirt at Ajax, since the club decided to retire the shirt out of respect for legend Johan Cruyff.[22] Cruyff himself laughed off the tribute saying the club had to let its best player play with number 14.[23] Spanish midfielder Roger was the last player to wear the number.

Players out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Netherlands GK Marco Bizot (to SC Cambuur until July 2012)
Netherlands MF Roly Bonevacia (to NAC Breda until July 2012)
Netherlands FW Geoffrey Castillion (to RKC Waalwijk until July 2012)
No. Position Player
Argentina FW Darío Cvitanich (to Boca Juniors until July 2012)
Netherlands FW Florian Jozefzoon (to NAC Breda until July 2012)
Netherlands MF Rodney Sneijder (to FC Utrecht until July 2012)

Youth/reserves squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
24 Morocco FW Mounir El Hamdaoui
27 Finland DF Henri Toivomäki
28 Morocco MF Ismaïl Aissati
29 Belgium MF Mats Rits
31 Netherlands DF Ruben Ligeon
32 Netherlands DF Stefano Denswil
33 Netherlands MF Joeri de Kamps
34 Netherlands DF Ricardo van Rhijn
35 Denmark FW Viktor Fischer
36 Netherlands GK Warner Hahn
No. Position Player
37 Netherlands FW Jody Lukoki
38 Netherlands MF Yener Arica
39 Netherlands FW Davy Klaassen
41 Netherlands FW Lesley de Sa
42 Netherlands DF Dico Koppers
43 Netherlands MF Ricardo Kip
44 Netherlands DF Joël Veldman
46 Netherlands GK Chiel Kramer
Netherlands DF Sven Nieuwpoort

Notable former players

Main Article: List of AFC Ajax players

Board and staff

Current board

  • Chairman: Hennie Henrichs
  • General director: Rik van den Boog
  • Financial director: Jeroen Slop
  • Commercial director: Henri van der Aat

Current technical staff

  • Manager: Frank de Boer
  • Assistant manager: Dennis Bergkamp
  • Assistant manager: Hennie Spijkerman
  • Goalkeepers trainer: Carlo L'Ami
  • Team manager: David Endt

List of Ajax chairmen

  • Netherlands Floris Stempel (1900–08)
  • Netherlands Chris Holst (1908–10)
  • Netherlands Han Dade (1910–12)
  • Netherlands Christ Holst (1912–13)
  • Netherlands Willem Egeman (1913–25)
  • Netherlands Frans Schoevaart (1925–32)
  • Netherlands Marius Koolhaas (1932–56)
  • Netherlands Wim Volkers (1956–58)
  • Netherlands Jan Melchers (1958–64)
  • Netherlands Jaap van Praag (1964–78)
  • Netherlands Ton Harmsen (1978–88)
  • Netherlands Michael van Praag (1989–2003)
  • Netherlands John Jaakke (2003–2008)
  • Netherlands Uri Coronel (2008–11)
  • Netherlands Steven ten Have (2011)
  • Netherlands Hennie Henrichs (2011–)

List of Ajax managers


Official trophies (recognized by UEFA and FIFA)


1917–18, 1918–19, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1946–47, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2011–12
1916–17, 1942–43, 1960–61, 1966–67, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1978–79, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10
1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007


Several of Ajax' international trophies
1972, 1995[24]
1971, 1972, 1973, 1995[24]
1973, 1995[4][25] *(Ajax also won in 1972, however, UEFA only sanctioned the UEFA Super Cup for the first time in 1973 so the 1972 edition was an unofficial one. Played against Rangers, winners of the 1971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup, it actually went ahead as 'a celebration of the I Centenary of Rangers F.C.' (See below) because Rangers were serving a one year ban at the time imposed by UEFA for the misbehaviour of their fans. That victory meant Ajax had won every tournament (5 in total) they entered that year, a feat Celtic achieved in 1967 (with 6 trophies) and Barcelona (also 6 trophies) repeated in 2009.

Other trophies

1994, 1997
  • Ted Bates Trophy: 1

Domestic results

Below is a table with Ajax's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

Team records

Main Article: List of AFC Ajax records

See also



  1. ^ http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/StatDoc/competitions/UCL/01/67/63/78/1676378_DOWNLOAD.pdf
  2. ^ "Europe's Club of the Century". International Federation of Football History & Statistics. 2009-09-11. http://www.iffhs.de/?a413f0e03790c443e0f40390b41be8b01905fdcdc3bfcdc0aec70aeedb883ccb05ff1d. Retrieved 2009-09-12.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  3. ^ with Manchester United in 1999 and FC Barcelona in 2009.
  4. ^ a b UEFA sanctioned the UEFA Supercup for the first time in 1973. In 1972 was an unofficial edition and the I Centenary of Rangers (see History of the UEFA Supercup in uefa.com).
  5. ^ (European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup)
  6. ^ a b UEFA sanctioned the UEFA Intertoto Cup for the first time in 1995. In 1960s, it was unofficial. See History of UEFA Intertoto Cup[dead link] in uefa.com.
  7. ^ "Ajax Cape Town primeur in professionele sportwereld" (in Dutch). Ajax.nl. http://www.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154417/contentid=15092.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  8. ^ "Ajax gaat technische samenwerking aan met FC Omniworld" (in Dutch). Ajax.nl. http://www.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154417/contentid=41719.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  9. ^ "Ajax en GBA bekrachtigen overdracht" (in Dutch). Ajax.nl. http://www.ajax.nl/Nieuws/Nieuwsarchief/Nieuws-artikel/Ajax-en-GBA-bekrachtigen-overdracht.htm.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  10. ^ "Ajax zet financiële participatie in Ashanti Goldfields om in technische samenwerking" (in Dutch). Ajax.nl. http://www.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154417/contentid=27266.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  11. ^ History of the Ajax logo
  12. ^ "AEGON new head sponsor AFC Ajax". Ajax.nl. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. http://english.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154814/contentid=64367. Retrieved 2007-10-17.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  13. ^ "Contract with kit sponsor Adidas extended until summer 2009". AJAX-USA.com. http://www.ajax-usa.com/news/2002-2003/contract-with-kit-sponsor-adidas.html. Retrieved 2006-12-10.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  14. ^ http://www.sportgeschiedenis.nl/2006/12/09/ajax-en-de-joden.aspx
  15. ^ a b c d e Amsterdam Journal; A Dutch Soccer Riddle: Jewish Regalia Without Jews – New York Times, March 28, 2005
  16. ^ a b Understanding football hooliganism: A Comparison of Six Western European Clubs by Ramon Spaaij, published 2006
  17. ^ a b c Ajax and the Jewish Issue
  18. ^ Emancipation through muscles: Jews and sports in Europe, Michael Brenner, Gideon Reuveni, Universität München. Institute of Jewish History, Universiṭah ha-ʻIvrit bi-Yerushalayim. Merkaz Ḳobner le-hisṭoryah Germanit, Google Books
  19. ^ Smith, Craig S. (2005-03-28). "Amsterdam Journal; A Dutch Soccer Riddle: Jewish Regalia Without Jews". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9404E7DB153FF93BA15750C0A9639C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2. Retrieved 2010-04-23.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  20. ^ http://www.jewlicious.com/2005/01/soccer-team-tries-to-shed-jewish-image/ Soccer team tries to shed Jewish image
  21. ^ Ajax
  22. ^ "Ajax retire number 14". Ajax.nl. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. http://english.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154814/contentid=62523. Retrieved 2007-04-18.id/en.wikipedia.org:AFC_Ajax> 
  23. ^ "Ajax Retires number 14", FourFourTwo website, 2007-04-19
  24. ^ a b c d Football Europe: AFC Ajax; uefa.com
  25. ^ a b UEFA sanctioned the UEFA Super Cup for the first time in 1973. In 1972 was an unofficial edition and the I Centenary of Rangers FC (see History of the UEFA Super Cup in uefa.com).
  26. ^ Hardgras

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