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Mourinho starts Madrid mission against Ajax

A UEFA Champions League winner twice already, José Mourinho embarks on his quest to claim the trophy with a third club as Real Madrid CF begin Group G at home to AFC Ajax.

Mourinho starts Madrid mission against Ajax
Mourinho starts Madrid mission against Ajax ©UEFA.com

José Mourinho begins the job of restoring Real Madrid CF's European fortunes with a home contest against Group G rivals AFC Ajax.

• It was only four months ago that Mourinho, in his last act as FC Internazionale Milano coach, won the UEFA Champions League final at Santiago Bernabéu. The stadium has since become his footballing home as the Portuguese embarks on a quest to win the European crown with a third club following his successes with FC Porto in 2004 and Inter.

• Ajax coach Martin Jol is making his debut in the competition, 25 years after first tasting European action as a player. His team are in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2005/06.

Previous meetings
• In head-to-head encounters Ajax have recorded four wins and only one defeat from six matches.

• The most recent meeting in Madrid was on 22 November 1995 when Ajax earned a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Jari Litmanen (65) and Patrick Kluivert (76) scored for the Dutch club, who were then defending champions and had already beaten Madrid 1-0 in Amsterdam on Matchday 1. Ajax's captain was Danny Blind, currently the club's assistant coach and whose son Daley is a member of their present squad.

• The teams first met in the 1967/68 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round. Madrid drew 1-1 at Ajax then earned a 2-1 success after extra time in the return.

• The most significant meeting between the pair came in the 1972/73 European Cup semi-final. Ajax won 2-1 at home then triumphed 1-0 at the Bernabéu thanks to a Gerrie Mühren goal.

Match background
• This is a contest between two of the European Cup's greatest teams – Madrid have nine wins in the competition and Ajax four.

• However, for the sixth year running Madrid were eliminated in the round of 16 last season. At home they posted two wins, one draw and one defeat.

• Madrid have not faced Dutch opposition in the UEFA Champions League since playing Ajax in 1995/96. Their home record against sides from the Netherlands is W7 D1 L2.

• Second in the Dutch Eredivisie last term, Ajax earned their first group stage campaign since 2005/06 by beating PAOK FC and FC Dynamo Kyiv, drawing the away leg of both qualifying ties.

• Ajax therefore remain unbeaten away from home in Europe under Jol, who oversaw three wins and two draws as they reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32 last season.

• Ajax's most recent visit to Spain brought a 3-2 defeat at RC Celta de Vigo in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage – there is not a single survivor of that team in Jol's current squad.

• The visitors' away record against Spanish sides is W5 D2 L5.

Team ties
• Mourinho faced Jol in seven London derbies during their respective reigns at Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC from 2004 to 2007. Mourinho recorded five wins to Jol's one.

• Jol tasted defeat in Spain with Tottenham against Sevilla FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup quarter-final – losing 2-1 in the first leg en route to a 4-3 aggregate reverse.

• Mesut Özil was in the SV Werder Bremen team that defeated Jol's Hamburger SV in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup semi-final.

• Madrid's Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were in the Spain side that won the FIFA World Cup final on 11 July against a Netherlands team that included Ajax's Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel. Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel and André Ooijer had earlier helped the Dutch past Kaká's Brazil in the quarter-finals.

• Jerzy Dudek played for Feyenoord between 1996 and 2001. Mahamadou Diarra had a spell with Vitesse from 1999 to 2002.

• Oleguer played for FC Barcelona between 2002 and 2008. He was sent off in a 3-3 draw with Madrid in March 2007.

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