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Ajax – A trio of magicians

Dutch football has been famously associated with beautiful, expansive and expressive play ever since Johan Cruyff and the great Ajax side that dominated the European footballing landscape in the early 1970s – although you wouldn’t know it if you based your view on the last World Cup. Below are three examples of Ajax showing off at their very best. The first is the most recent from 2009, Luis Suarez takes a ball on the right hand touch line and gives it a juggle. My favourite thing about this clip is how the full back can do nothing but applaud, if he’d listened to Lee Dixon he’d know he has to get much much tighter if he wants to stand any chance.

Left winger Richard Witschge goes one step further in October 1997 in a 4-0 demolition of Feyenoord, takes the ball on the run and juggles down the left wing…

Finally, the man who started it all, Gerrie Muhren. This bit of play is far more subtle, but the occasion was the 2nd leg of the European Cup semi final against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Muhren later stated that he was simply waiting for left back Wim Suurbier to reach him so he could release the pass, so he did some keepie uppies to use up time. The crowd could do nothing except acknowledge this man’s huge kahunas.

  • FootballFarrago

    In the first clip I’m not so sure the full back is genuinely applauding. I think it’s more likely the winger’s showboating was annoying and it was an ironic clap. There’s a difference between doing a good piece of useful skill and just doing a couple of keepups – even I can do the latter.

    There’s a good piece in this month’s World Soccer Magazine about showboating actually. As I said, I think it depends if it actually achieves anything. If not, it’s just stupid.

    http://www.footballfarrago.com


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