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Ajax's golden boys of '95

Published: Saturday 24 May 2014, 8.00CET
A sensational AFC Ajax side beat AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League final on 24 May 1995; sees what happened next to Louis van Gaal's star-studded selection.
by Berend Scholten
Ajax's golden boys of '95
Ajax celebrate after the 1995 UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan ©Getty Images
Published: Saturday 24 May 2014, 8.00CET

Ajax's golden boys of '95

A sensational AFC Ajax side beat AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League final on 24 May 1995; sees what happened next to Louis van Gaal's star-studded selection.

Now 41, Edgar Davids was the last member of AFC Ajax's 1995 UEFA Champions League-winning side to still be playing. We recall what happened next to Louis van Gaal's star-studded team that overcame AC Milan 1-0 in Vienna.

Edwin van der Sar
Just 24 at the time of Ajax's triumph, Van der Sar would become Dutch football's most celebrated custodian, earning a record 130 caps over 13 years. Stays at Juventus and Fulham FC followed before the goalkeeper joined Manchester United FC in 2005, landing another UEFA Champions League title with the Red Devils three years later. "I have made better saves but this was the most important," he said after denying Nicolas Anelka in the shoot-out victory over Chelsea FC. Van der Sar hung up his boots after the 2011 UEFA Champions League final defeat by FC Barcelona and undertook the role of Ajax's marketing director.

Michael Reiziger
Defeat by Juventus in the 1996 European Cup final prompted the full-back to swap Ajax for AC Milan, where he endured an injury-hit season before departing for FC Barcelona in 1997. During seven years with the Blaugrana, Reiziger won a UEFA Super Cup, two Spanish titles and the Copa del Rey. He finished his playing career with fleeting stops at Middlesbrough FC and PSV Eindhoven. Reiziger currently operates as a youth coach at Sparta Rotterdam.

Danny Blind
One of the golden generation's older heads, captain Blind served Ajax for a further four years – by which time the centre-back had captured five Eredivisie championships and four Dutch Cups among other trophies. Capped 42 times by the Netherlands, Blind was appointed the national team's assistant coach in 2012 after honing his technical talents at former club Sparta and serving under Frank de Boer at Ajax from 2008–11.

Frank Rijkaard
The Dutch international defensive midfielder called time on a glittering career after lifting the European Cup for a third time in six attempts. Rijkaard turned his hand to coaching three years later, steering the Netherlands to the UEFA EURO 2000 semi-finals. He was named Barcelona boss in 2003 despite failing to maintain Sparta's top-flight status less than 12 months before. There he claimed back-to-back Liga crowns and the 2006 UEFA Champions League trophy. After leaving Barcelona in 2008, the now 51-year-old had unsuccessful stints as boss of Galatasaray AŞ and Saudi Arabia.

©AFP/Getty Images

Frank de Boer now coaches Ajax

Frank de Boer
A defender renowned for his technical proficiency, Frank followed twin brother Ronald to Barcelona in 1999. Following five trophy-less campaigns at Camp Nou, he turned out for Galatasaray, Rangers FC and Qatari outfits al-Rayyan SC and al-Shamal SC. Frank then made his first steps in coaching as part of Ajax's youth set-up in 2006 and took over first-team duties from Martin Jol in 2010, directing the Amsterdam club to four consecutive championships.

©AFP/Getty Images

Clarence Seedorf is in charge at AC Milan

Clarence Seedorf
The midfielder carved out a prodigious career after quitting Ajax at the end of 1994/95. A single season at UC Sampdoria ensued before Seedorf joined Real Madrid CF where he tasted European glory for a second time. The Oranje schemer linked up with FC Internazionale Milano in 2000 and two years later switched to Milan. Seedorf again picked up Europe's biggest club prize in 2003, becoming the first player to do so with three different clubs. Further glory came when his side saw off Liverpool FC in the 2007 final – seven years before he retired to take the reins as Milan boss. "Everyone dreams of winning a European Cup final and I was very lucky to do so at 19. I felt special waking up the next day," he recalled.

Finidi George
The Nigeria winger made Real Betis Balompié his home in 1996, registering 38 times in 130 Liga appearances before heading to RCD Mallorca. Ipswich Town FC became his next port of call in 2001, yet the wide man returned to Mallorca two years later and eventually hung up his boots in 2004. "It was a wonderful time – from the moment I arrived at Ajax, things went well and we won trophies. We had great players," said George, who has since earned his coaching badges.

Edgar Davids
Famed for those glasses, the tough-tackling midfielder departed for Milan in 1996, only to link up with Juventus the following campaign. During seven years in Turin, Davids amassed three Serie A crowns and lost two UEFA Champions League finals, before signing a six-month loan deal with Rijkaard's Barcelona in 2004. Davids proceeded to represent Inter, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Crystal Palace FC and English lower then non-league outfit Barnet FC, where he acted as player-coach from 2012–14.

Ronald de Boer
"I have never been so happy. Winning the championship is nothing compared to this," said the Netherlands forward back in 1995. Ronald swapped Amsterdam for Barcelona 12 months before his brother's arrival in 1999, adding the Spanish title to his list of honours during his debut campaign. He acquired further silverware with Frank at Rangers and later followed his sibling to Qatar until retirement in 2008.

Jari Litmanen
Regarded as Finland's greatest-ever footballer, Litmanen earned a move to Barcelona in 1999 although his impact in Catalonia was softened by injury. The intelligent attacker was still able to produce glimpses of magic during 12 months at Liverpool, where he lifted the UEFA Cup in 2002. An Ajax comeback the next term did not produce a fairly-tail ending, however, and instead he would play out his career back home with HJK Helsinki.

Marc Overmars
Arsenal FC secured the wingers' services in 1997 and he soon repaid their faith, helping the Gunners to a league and cup double 12 months later. Overmars became the most expensive Dutchman in history when opting to join Barcelona for around €25m in 2000, yet injury restricted him to just 97 Liga outings. The now 40-year-old briefly returned to action with Go Ahead Eagles in 2008, later becoming the club's technical manager. He accepted the position of Ajax director of football in 2012.

The Nigeria forward sealed a transfer to Inter shortly after winning the UEFA Champions League – but his three-year Italian sojourn was hampered by a heart defect. Arsenal took a gamble on Kanu in 1999 and were rewarded as the lanky attacker starred in two Premier League and as many FA Cups triumphs. The 37-year-old spent two years with West Bromwich Albion FC after leaving Arsène Wenger's men in 2004, before switching to Portsmouth FC and netting the winner in their 2008 FA Cup success. 

Patrick Kluivert
The match winner in Vienna struggled to make an impression at Milan after signing for the Serie A giants in 1997. He recaptured his form at Barcelona, though, going on to hit 90 goals in 181 games. Less prolific intervals at Newcastled United FC, Valencia CF, PSV and LOSC Lille followed before he quit playing in 2004. Kluivert, now Netherlands assistant coach under Van Gaal, registered 40 times in 79 matches for his country – a record only recently eclipsed by Robin van Persie.

Last updated: 24/05/14 8.54CET

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