On This Day: Ajax 6-0 Milan, European Super Cup, 1974
And they say Serie A is rubbish now
With the football authorities having made an unforgivable and irrevocable mess of European competition these days, there is currently little chance of any side from a smaller nation taking the continent by storm. Since Porto and Monaco reached the Champions League final in 2004 – an unusually weak year, in all honesty – the likes of Napoli, Porto and Dortmund find themselves pilfered by the big clubs as soon as they threaten to ransack a closed shop.
So, we’re agreed, the state of modern football is a disgrace (just look at Arsene Wenger’s comments about the FA Cup if you don’t believe us), which means we’re delighted when we get the chance to bring up a classic from the days when kids played in the street, you could leave your front door unlocked and everything was in black and white (careful now, Liverpool).
In 1995, Ajax, coached by Louis van Gaal and now relegated to the
Frankenstein Europa League, won the Champions League, beating Milan 1-0 in the final thanks to Patrick Kluivert’s late goal; but despite reaching the final a year later, this was far from their finest hour. No, for that, rewind to the 70s, an era in which Holland defined football totally. In 1971, 72 and 73, Ajax won the European Cup (even Pep’s Barcelona haven’t retained the current version yet) and then in 1974, Johan Cruyff and co dismantled Uefa Cup winners Milan in stunning style, a perfect exhibition of Total Football’s reign of terror.
To think this lot never won a World Cup.