1972/73: Rep makes it three for Ajax

Having beaten Bayern München and Real Madrid to reach their third successive European Champion Clubs' Cup final, Ajax overcame Juventus 1-0 in Belgrade, with Johnny Rep scoring the early goal.

Ajax lift the European Cup in 1973
Ajax lift the European Cup in 1973 ©Getty Images

Ajax 1-0 Juventus
(Rep 5)
FK Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade

What the rest of the soccer world would learn at the following summer's FIFA World Cup finals in West Germany, Europe knew for sure in May 1973. Namely, that there was something very special about the generation of Ajax players led by Johan Cruyff. The Amsterdam club had written another chapter in gold in the history of the European Champion Clubs' Cup when a 1-0 triumph over Juventus in the final in Belgrade made them the first side since Real Madrid in the 1950s to lift the famous trophy three years running.

An achievement made all the more remarkable because nine players had figured in all three matches. Yet the narrow margin of this victory - Johnny Rep scored the only goal on four minutes - was no reflection of their overall superiority. More indicative were the 1-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium which gave them a 3-1 aggregate success over Madrid in the semi-finals; the 4-0 dismantling of Bayern München which preceded it; and the easy progress past CSKA Sofia in the second round.