If you’re English, your first mental encounter with the Dutch club inspired visions of scouring powder. I was a small child when Cruyff provided the elbow grease, and no one in my all-female household was prone to put the football on. Or any sport: I only caught Test Match Special because my gran had fallen asleep during lunchtime childrens’ programmes.
So my preferred edition of the purist’s club is the 1995 volume. Contributions from van der Sar, Michael Reiziger, Danny Blind, Frank Rijkaard, Frank de Boer, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Jari Litmanen, Ronald de Boer, Finidi George, Marc Overmars, Patrick Kluivert and Nwankwo Kanu.
It’s the last “classic” European team line-up, and, I note, they won the Champions League a few months before Alan Hansen’s famous assertion that you win nothing with kids.
Some of these Ajax players were even good enough to make it in the Premiership later on, the greatest league in the world. Finidi George at Ipswich, for instance. But sometimes your finest moment comes early in life, and here is what I consider to be theirs: