The re-birth of Ajax Amsterdam in Madrid

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Oh Ajax, Europe has missed you for too long....

As someone who admires Ajax Amsterdam, you can only imagine the sheer joy I felt when the Dutch giants eliminated the current European champions with an emphatic performance in their opponent's own backyard.

Make no mistake Ajax may be Dutch giants but against Madrid, they were the underdogs as the natural order of hierarchy in Europe meant that any club who stood shoulder to shoulder beside Los Merengues, who would immediately feel inferior. For a club like Ajax whom in modern times have faded from Europe's elite competition, it was only made worst despite their success and history.

History showed that this tie was supposed to be straightforward as after all Ajax had won only four European cups; a paltry amount compared to the 13 Los Blancos had captured. However, these group of young and fearless crop of Ajax players knew little about history as they were completely unfazed by the occasion, rising above any odds thrown in their path, to re-write a new chapter in their history.

To simply put it, the Eredivisie club were simply much hungrier and fitter than their Spanish counterparts who seem to have lost their hunger in the midst of all the success they accumulated. What was gained however was arrogance, and it proved to be their downfall as Ajax led by the precocious talent that is Matthijs De Ligt dominated the game with a brand of football synonymous with Dutch football.

Erik Ten Hag deserves immense credit as he showed the whole of Europe what having the right people in the set-up of a club can do. Edwin Van Der Sar and Marc Overmars who are now part of the club's hierarchy are reaping the rewards of their work as early in the season, it was the duo that persuaded these burgeoning talents to remain at the club. De Ligt, Barcelona bound Frankie De Jong and David Neres were just some of the names that impressed with their verve and desire.

In fathoming what Ajax achieved, one must also realise how not many people gave the Dutch side a chance when the two teams were drawn together but football has a way of making us fall in love with it all over again. And fall in love I did when Ajax recorded what was a monumental victory for a team who cost less than Gareth Bale's wages. 

The question is, where do Ajax go from here? My hope is that upward because what I witnessed at the Santiago Bernabeu was the re-birth of one of Europe's and world football's greatest team. For the sake of football in general, this Ajax team needs to remain together because the future is bright for them. Also, Ajax has once again managed to be a symbol of inspiration for clubs who do not have deep pockets but want to be competitive. So many positives, well unless you are a Madrid fan.

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