The Eredivisie champions' skipper is desperate to do well in the Champions League and reproduce the type of form they were synonymous with in the glory years
The Amsterdam giants have won European club football's elite competition four times, and De Jong has made it clear that their impressive history serves as a motivation for them to do well.
"Our glorious history in Europe's a motivation to succeed. People always expect a lot from Ajax and we will do our best to fulfil those expectations," De Jong was quoted as saying on the official Uefa website.
"We hope to go as far as possible in the Champions League, but it would be very nice to finish third [in Group D]. We'll certainly play to win. We have nothing to lose, so we can play with freedom."
De Jong then looked ahead to next week's encounter against Real Madrid, and is relishing the prospect of taking on Xabi Alonso.
He added: "We've played against Real Madrid in the last two seasons and haven't beaten them once. So it would be nice to play against someone like Xabi Alonso, and to go on and win that game."
Ajax host Madrid on October 3.