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Amsterdam Ajax Academy: from Cruyff, Eriksen, to De Ligt

edysl.net - The number of clubs who idolize young talent from Ajax Amsterdam is not new. This is traced to the past, when the late Johan Cruyff, moved from Ajax to Barcelona in 1973.

Furthermore, there is a massive hunt from a number of clubs in Europe against Ajax Amsterdam players, such as Marco van Basten, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Wesley Sneijder, Christian Eriksen - mainstay midfielder Tottenham Hotspur from Denmark, and other players.

Amsterdam Ajax Academy
Amsterdam Ajax Academy

Ajax Amsterdam is not only impressive in managing its soccer academy. They are also famous for the foresight of the monitors potential players to recruit foreign players who are not well-known such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez and then develop them to become stars like now.

Dutch national team player Matthijs de Ligt and German Timo Werner fight over the ball in the next match of UEFA League 1 Group 1 at the Johan Cruijff Arena, Netherlands, Saturday, October 13, 2018. This victory created a new history for the Netherlands, because it was Holland's first win over Germany since 2002. REUTERS / Piroschka Van de Wouw.

Now the talk is center-back and 19-year-old Ajax Amsterdam captain Matthijs de Ligt. He has also become a pillar of the Dutch senior team.

De Ligt is one of the newest products from the legendary Ajax Football Academy. At the senior Ajax club, age doesn't matter. If you are young but have played mature, he will get a chance to enter the first team like De Ligt.

If you are in the hallway above the Amsterdam Arena or now named the Johan Cruyff Stadium, you will see a row of lined fields near the stadium. That is the seedbed for the Ajax junior players, as witnessed by the writer with a group of journalists from Indonesia in 2010.

That place is an arena anchored by Ajax Amsterdam players during the development period. Have one more place a step away from the academy and their training ground, called De Toekomst (The Future).

There are 12 fields stretched out, a patch of green in the middle of the highway, located eight kilometers from Dam Square, the historical arena of Amsterdam. In each field, teams from the age of under nine to the first team train. A small baggage accompanies each field, where players develop, eat and learn. Every year, the academy provides ready opportunities for high achievers to enter the Ajax first team.

From there, De Ligt studied since he was nine years old. "That is my home. It's very fun, "the Ajax captain told ESPN . De Ligt will lead his team against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the 2018-2019 Champions League, to ESPN .

In the hallways of the Amstedam Arena are lined with picture frames of De Ligt seniors at Ajax Amsterdam who are legendary clubs and national teams, such as Johan Cruyff.

One day it is certain that Ajax Amsterdam will sell De Ligt, as they did with the young Dutch midfielder, Frenkie de Jong, recently to Barcelona.

But, they are not disturbed by the transfer traffic and are not worried that the Ajax Amsterdam first team will continue to be undermined by their solidity.

Ajax Amsterdam has confidence in their academy. They know they can produce other players to fill the gaps left by players like De Jong and De Ligt.

Losing a player labeled superstar is hardly ideal for a club. But, that's not a reason for the club to stop producing good players.

The reason is, it is the business capital of Ajax Amsterdam : Developing the next generation of star players and then selling them to help fund the wave of recruiting and coaching the latest generation of players.
Labels: ajax junior school soccer, Amsterdam Ajax Academy

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