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Ajax and Milan renew famous old rivalry

AFC Ajax and AC Milan square off in a Group G contest that takes Clarence Seedorf and Zlatan Ibrahimović back to Amsterdam and stirs memories of some famous past meetings.

Ajax and Milan renew famous old rivalry
Ajax and Milan renew famous old rivalry ©UEFA.com

AFC Ajax welcome AC Milan to the Amsterdam ArenA on Matchday 2 in a meeting of two of the European Champion Clubs' Cup's great names.

• Ajax and Milan have twice faced off in the European Cup final, recording one win apiece, but it is Group G points they are playing for in a contest that takes Clarence Seedorf and Zlatan Ibrahimović back to their old stamping ground.

• The Dutch side are looking to bounce back from their 2-0 Matchday 1 reverse at Real Madrid CF, when Milan beat AJ Auxerre by the same scoreline at San Siro.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have met ten times, Milan posting five wins to Ajax's four.

• In the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-final Milan drew 0-0 in Amsterdam then won the return 3-2 thanks to Jon Dahl Tomasson's added-time goal.

• Filippo Inzaghi scored the opener in that victory and got the only goal when Milan defeated Ajax at home in the 2003/04 group stage. The Rossoneri also prevailed 1-0 in Amsterdam, Andriy Shevchenko scoring.

• Ibrahimović led the Ajax attack for that game in Amsterdam on 26 November 2003, while Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Seedorf, Inzaghi and Massimo Ambrosini were involved for Milan, the latter as a 71st-minute substitute.

• The clubs first crossed swords in the 1968/69 European Cup final, Milan triumphing 4-1 in Madrid. Ajax gained revenge in 1994/95 when they beat Milan, then defending champions, home and away in the group stage and then again in the final. Patrick Kluivert, later a Milan player, scored the only goal of the Vienna showpiece.

• Ajax overwhelmed Milan in the 1973/74 UEFA Super Cup, overturning a 1-0 first-leg loss with a 6-0 home victory.

Match background
• Ajax drew with PAOK FC and had a nervy 2-1 win against FC Dynamo Kyiv in their two home qualifiers. They have no wins from their last six home games against Italian visitors. Ibrahimović scored one of their goals when they last beat a Serie A side in Amsterdam, a 2-1 success against AS Roma in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League.

• Despite Miralem Sulejmani's opener, Ajax lost 2-1 to Juventus in last term's UEFA Europa League round of 32. That proved the aggregate score after a goalless second leg.

• Ajax's overall home record against Italian teams is W5 D7 L5.

• Milan's most recent trip to the Netherlands brought a 3-1 success at SC Heerenveen in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage, Gattuso and Inzaghi scoring in addition to an own goal.

• The Rossoneri's record in the Netherlands is W4 D1 L5.

• Besides their two finals against Milan, Ajax contested three other European Cup finals against Italian clubs, defeating FC Internazionale Milano in 1971/72 and Juventus in 1972/73, but losing to Juve in 1995/96.

• Ajax also faced Torino FC in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup final and prevailed on away goals.

Team ties
• Ajax assistant coach Danny Blind captained the side that beat Milan in the 1995 final. His son Daley is a member of the current first-team squad.

• Seedorf, an Ajax player from 1992 to 1995, played the first 53 minutes of the 1995 final. He left for UC Sampdoria shortly afterwards.

• André Ooijer faced Milan with PSV Eindhoven in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg, a 2-0 loss. The next season he helped PSV earn an away draw and a home win against Milan in the group stage.

• Ibrahimović played for Ajax from 2001 to 2004, facing Milan four times without scoring.

• Robinho struck Brazil's goal in their 2-1 quarter-final defeat at the 2010 FIFA World Cup by a Netherlands side featuring Ooijer, Maarten Stekelenburg and Gregory van der Wiel.

• Luis Suárez was sent off for handball during Uruguay's World Cup quarter-final victory against a Ghana side including Kevin-Prince Boateng.

• Ronaldinho and Oleguer were in the FC Barcelona team that won the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League final against Arsenal FC.