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Ajax 1 Juventus 1

Every twenty years or so Ajax Amsterdam produces a wondrous side which is then rapidly decapitated when the big boys come a-buying so there is the briefest of windows to savour their football.

I’m old enough to recall the 70s side that won the old European Cup three years in succession beating Juventus in one final.

Their academy produced European footballing royalty with the likes of Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten, Edwin van der Sar and Denis Bergkamp and now a new crop takes centre-stage having disposed of Real Madrid.

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong with beautiful balance and touch caught the eye.

He is off to Barcelona for €70 million.

It was a marvellously-fluid performance against the canny Juve who, even without Giorgio Chielini, were defensively so well organised.

That supreme scorer of Champions league goals Cristiano Ronaldo headed the Turin outfit into the lead but Ajax equalised through Neres at the start of the second half.

Juve now need to stop Ajax from scoring in the return tie to qualify.

Ajax did win in the Bernabéu but I feel another away win will be beyond them. So the team will be broken up and we can only hope the Academy conveyor belt produces some more.

About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts