Our dream Ajax all-time 11

Ajax, a beacon of football history, stands tall as one of the most iconic clubs the beautiful game has ever witnessed. The Amsterdam giants have been graced by the presence of some of the world’s finest players, etching their names in the annals of football.

With that in mind, we thought we would pick up our favourite Ajax 11 of all time, plus a head coach. So, without further ado, here is our favourite Ajax 11:

(In a 4-3-1-2 formation)

Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar

It would be hard to argue with our choice of goalkeeper. Van der Sar represented the Dutch giants for nearly a decade, making over 200 appearances for the club.

During his time with Ajax, the former Netherlands international won 14 major trophies, including in 1995 when he helped his team to the Champions League, which remains their last triumph in European football’s elite competition to date.

Right-back: Wim Suurbier

The right-back was an Ajax stalwart during the late 1960s and early 1970s, including his team winning three straight European Cups from 1971 to 1973.

Suurbier played on 392 occasions for the Amsterdam giants and won three European Cups. He also became a Dutch champion seven times before his 1977 exit to German club Schalke.

Centre-back: Frank de Boer

The centre-back is an Ajax legend for his playing and managerial careers in the Dutch capital. From 1988 to 1999, he played in 328 games for the club.

He won the Eredivisie title on five occasions, two KNVB Cups, and, perhaps most importantly, was part of the club’s last Champions League triumph in 1995.

He returned as Ajax’s head coach in 2010 and proceeded to win four Eredivisie titles before his exit in May 2016.

Centre-back: Danny Blind

The centre-back is now a genuine club legend. Blind joined Ajax in 1986 from Sparta Rotterdam and enjoyed a trophy-laden career in Amsterdam before he retired in 1999.

Blind won the Eredivisie title on five occasions, as well as numerous other significant trophies, including the 1995 Champions League.

The defender is currently third in the club’s all-time appearance list, having featured for the Amsterdammers on 493 occasions. Blind is also the only Dutch player, along with Arnold Muhren, to have won all the UEFA club competitions.

Left-back: Ruud Krol

A product of the club’s academy, Krol played for Ajax from 1968 until 1980, making 339 appearances for the Amsterdam club.

He showed his versatility by playing as a sweeper or a central midfielder and his leadership skills by captaining the team for seven years.

Krol enjoyed a trophy-laden career in the Dutch capital as he was part of the club’s major success in the 1970s. He won three European Cups and six Eredivisie titles, among a raft of other silverware.

Central midfield: Frank Rijkaard

Rijkaard was a complete footballer. He was versatile, strong, and athletic. Whether he played at centre-back or in central midfield, he seemed to ooze class.

His first spell with his hometown club started in 1980 and lasted seven years before he moved to Portugal with Sporting CP.

After a glittering five-year spell with Italian giants Milan, he returned to the Dutch capital in 1993. He helped his team win the 1995 Champions League before retiring from the beautiful game.

Central midfield: Edgar Davids

Davids graduated from the club’s academy to make his first-team debut in 1991 and stayed with the club from the Dutch capital until 1996. During that time, he won the Eredivisie three times and the Champions League once, among a host of other trophies.

His tenacious style earned him the nickname ‘The Pitbull’. However, there was much more to his game than just steel, as Davids had outstanding technical ability on the ball.

Davids enjoyed a second spell with the club from 2006 until 2008, but he will largely be remembered for his fine displays in his first spell.

Central midfield: Johan Neeskens

Neeskens is one of the best players Dutch football has ever produced, having been a pivotal player in Ajax’s excellent team of the 1970s. He started his career at right-back.

However, it was when he moved to a more central midfield position that he really started to thrive, especially as he struck up a stellar understanding with Johan Cruyff. He thrived so much that he is now considered by many to be one of the best midfielders of all time.

Although his Ajax career lasted just four years, from 1970 until 1974, Neeskens can count among the silverware. He won two Dutch titles, three European Cups and two KNVB Cups.

Second striker: Jari Litmanen

The greatest footballer Finland has ever produced, Litmanen had two spells with Ajax. His first spell, from 1992 until 1999, saw the attacking midfielder score 91 goals in 159 appearances for the Amsterdammers.

He played a crucial role in Ajax winning five Eredivisie titles, the Champions League in 1995, and three KNVB Cups.

On an individual basis, Litmanen won Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1993 and the Dutch Golden Boot in the 1993/94 season.

Centre-forward: Johan Cruyff

Cruyff is one of the best players to ever grace a football pitch, a legend not just of the Dutch game but of the world game.

Cruyff played a massive role in Ajax’s established ‘Total Football’ style of play in the early 1970s. Over his two spells with the Amsterdam club, the attacker won an incredible 18 trophies.

Playing a significant role in Ajax’s historic three-in-a-row European Cups from 1971-1973 contributed to Cruyff’s three Ballon d’Or wins.

Centre-forward: Marco van Basten

After graduating from the club’s academy and joining the first team in 1981, Van Basten played for the Dutch giants until 1987. In 174 appearances in all competitions for Ajax, Van Basten scored an outstanding 154 goals before a big-money move to Italian giants Milan.

The forward’s goalscoring prowess was illustrated by winning the Eredivisie Golden Boot on four occasions in seasons 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, and 1986–87.

By the end of his career, he established himself as one of the best number nines in the world game. Unfortunately for the prolific forward, his career was cut short early. He was forced into retirement due to injury at the age of 30, having not played since he was 28.

Some honourable mentions: Piet Schrijvers, Maarten Stekelenburg, Velibor Vasovic, Daley Blind, Barry Hulshoff, Clarence Seedorf, Wesley Sneijder, Dennis Bergkamp, Pier Keizer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez and Sjaak Swart

Head coach: Rinus Michels

This was a hard decision, as Ajax has had so many quality head coaches down the years.

However, Michels is our choice simply because he is associated so heavily with establishing ‘the Total Football’ style of play that helped Ajax dominate the domestic game in the late 1960s and European football in the early 1970s.

The highlight of Michels’ Ajax career was winning four Eredivisie titles and the European Cup. In 1999, the Dutch tactician was voted FIFA Coach of the Century.

Some honourable mentions: Guus Hiddink, Erik ten Hag, Frank de Boer, Vick Buckingham and Stefan Kovacs.

What would be your Ajax all-time 11?