Ajax

Ajax-Barça, Cruyff's dream Champions League final

OPINION

@SPORT_Lmascaro

When we talk about Barcelona's style we also talk about Johan Cruyff's legacy. The origins of which can be found in the Ajax side of the early 70s. That team, directed by Rinus Michels on the bench and Johan on the pitch, won three consecutive European Cups (1970-71, 1971-72 and 1972-73).

And that Dutch national team, the 'oranje', without winning the World Cup, made the world fall in love with them with their football in Germany '74 (and to a lesser extent in Argentina '78). That Ajax side is, without doubt, the start of the model which Cruyff later applied to the Dream Team and, later, was used by Pep Guardiola as Barça won two Champions Leagues. 

THE ESSENCE 

Barça, now without Pep, have maintained that essence. With subtle differences. With adaptions. Sometimes it evolves so much that it's quite different to the original. But Barça, in one way or another, are always true to their way of understanding football. Even though now the real mirror of that 1970s Ajax side is the Ajax side of 2019, with Ten Hag on the bench and De Jong directing the orchestra. An Ajax side that, with brave and entertaining football, have knocked Real Madrid and Juventus out of Europe. 

And now they're going to Pochettino's Tottenham. Ajax have shown they're ready for everything, even returning to the Champions League final 23 years later. And there they could (if not Liverpool) find themselves up against Ernesto Valverde and Lionel Messi's Barcelona. Ajax-Barça would be the final Cruyff would have dreamt of. And the best present for football. 

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