Snap shot: Ajax's European champions 20 years on

An AFC Ajax side featuring Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids reached a peak 20 years ago today; revisits the players who saw off AC Milan.


It is 20 years since the UEFA Champions League trophy was lifted by Louis van Gaal's AFC Ajax – a side whose members would go on to win countless titles across Europe over the next decade. In Vienna, an 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert came off the bench to snatch the 84th-minute winner against a star-studded AC Milan side that included the likes of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marcel Desailly and Zvonimir Boban. discovers where Ajax's stars of 1995 are now.

1. Clarence Seedorf
The midfielder carved out a prodigious career after quitting Ajax at the end of the 1994/95 season. A single season at UC Sampdoria was followed by a move to Real Madrid CF where he tasted UEFA Champions League glory for a second time in 1998. After a spell at FC Internazionale Milano, he crossed to AC Milan and in 2003 became the first player to win Europe's biggest club prize with three different clubs. Further glory came when the Rossoneri saw off Liverpool FC in the 2007 final – seven years before he retired to take the reins as Milan boss. He now serves as UEFA Global Ambassador for Diversity and Change.

Rijkaard as Dutch coach at UEFA EURO 2000
Rijkaard as Dutch coach at UEFA EURO 2000©Getty Images

2. Frank Rijkaard
The defensive midfielder ended a glittering career on a high in Vienna, having previously lifted the trophy twice with Milan. Rijkaard turned his hand to coaching, steering the Netherlands to the UEFA EURO 2000 semi-finals. Appointed FC Barcelona coach in 2003, despite suffering Eredivisie relegation with Sparta Rotterdam a year earlier, he claimed back-to-back Liga crowns as well as the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2006. He left in 2008,  and has since has taken charge of Galatasaray AŞ and Saudi Arabia.

3. Frank de Boer
An Ajax player for 11 years, the defender renowned for his technical proficiency joined Barcelona with twin brother Ronald in January 1999. After one championship in five years at Camp Nou he turned out for Galatasaray, Rangers FC – with Ronald again – and Qatari outfits al-Rayyan SC and al-Shamal SC. An Oranje centurion with 112 caps, Frank took his first steps into coaching as part of the Godenzonen's youth setup in 2006 and took over first-team duties from Martin Jol in 2010, directing the Amsterdam club to four successive championships – a Dutch record.

Kluivert recalls 1995 winner
Kluivert recalls 1995 winner

4. Patrick Kluivert
The 18-year-old match winner in Vienna struggled to make an impression at Milan after signing in 1997 but recaptured his form at Barcelona following a 1998 move, going on to hit 90 goals in 181 games. Less prolific spells at Newcastle United FC, Valencia CF, PSV Eindhoven and LOSC Lille followed before he quit in 2008 after registering 40 times in 79 matches for his country – a record that stood until Robin van Persie broke it in 2013. After assisting Louis van Gaal as Oranje coach at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 38-year-old is currently the national coach of Curacao in the Caribbean.

5. Michael Reiziger
Another member of the 1995 side who came through the club's youth system, the full-back swapped Ajax for Milan after defeat by Juventus in the 1996 European Cup final. He endured an injury-plagued season in Italy before departing for Barça in 1997. During seven seasons with the Blaugrana, Reiziger won a UEFA Super Cup, two Ligas and the Copa del Rey. He finished his playing career with fleeting stops at Middlesbrough FC and PSV Eindhoven in 2007. Took a job coaching in the Sparta Rotterdam youth programme after retirement and stepped up to become first-team assistant coach late in 2014.

6. Danny Blind
One of the golden generation's older heads, captain Blind joined in 1986 from Sparta Rotterdam. Served Ajax for a further four years after winning the UEFA Champions League – by which time the centre-back had captured five Eredivisie championships and four Dutch Cups. Capped 42 times, Blind was appointed national-team assistant coach in 2012 after honing his technical talents at Ajax in 2005/06. He has been named as successor to Oranje coach Guus Hiddink and is set to take charge after UEFA EURO 2016.

7. Finidi George
The Nigeria winger arrived in the Netherlands from his homeland and picked up three league titles and UEFA Champions League in three prolific years. Made Real Betis Balompié his home in 1996, registering 38 times in 130 Liga appearances before heading to RCD Mallorca. Experienced the Premier League as Ipswich Town FC became his next port of call in 2001. The wide man went back to Mallorca two years later before eventually hanging up his boots in 2004. Returned to the Netherlands in 2013 for a time to earn his coaching badges.

The making of Jari Litmanan
The making of Jari Litmanan

8. Jari Litmanen
Regarded as Finland's greatest player, he achieved hero status in Amsterdam during seven years with the club which included a goal in the 1996 final against Juventus. Litmanen moved to Barcelona in 1999 although his impact 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. After briefly returning to Ajax he spent the majority of the remainder of his career back in Finland, winning his first Finnish championship with HJK Helsinki in 2011.

9. Marc Overmars
Bought from Willem II, the lightning-fast winger's five years with Ajax ended when Arsenal FC secured his services in 1997. He helped the Gunners to a league and cup double 12 months later, his winner at Old Trafford snatching the title from Manchester United FC. Overmars became the most expensive Dutch player ever, joining Barcelona for around €25m in 2000, but injury restricted him to just 97 Liga outings in four seasons. Returned after four years out for a year with his first club, Go Ahead Eagles, later becoming the club's technical manager. He accepted the position of Ajax director of football in 2012.

Ajax celebrate in Vienna
Ajax celebrate in Vienna©Popperfoto/Getty Images

10. Edgar Davids
Famed for his glasses, the tough-tackling midfielder departed for AC 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. Went on to represent Inter and Tottenham Hotspur FC before a two-year return to Ajax and ended his career in the English lower leagues with Barnet FC, for whom he acted as player-manager from 2012 to 2014.

11. 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. Van der Sar hung up his gloves after the 2011 UEFA Champions League final defeat by Barcelona – his third loss in the showpiece – and has been the marketing director at Ajax since the start of 2013.

12. Nwankwo Kanu
Captured the eye of Ajax as part of Nigeria's victorious 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup side, spending three years in Amsterdam. The forward sealed a transfer to Inter shortly after winning the UEFA Champions League – but his three-year Italian sojourn was hampered by a heart problem. Arsenal gave him a second chance in 1999 and were rewarded as the rangy attacker starred in two Premier League and two FA Cup triumphs. Spent two years with West Bromwich Albion FC after leaving Arsène Wenger's side in 2004 before switching to Portsmouth FC and netting the winner in their 2008 FA Cup success.

13. Ronald de Boer
Ronald swapped Amsterdam for Barcelona after five Dutch titles in 1999, adding the Spanish title to his list of honours during his debut campaign. He acquired further silverware at Rangers, where Frank joined him for half a season, and later followed his sibling to Qatar until retirement in 2008, having earning 67 caps for the Oranje, scoring 13 goals. A youth coach at Ajax, he also works as a pundit on television.

Not pictured

Van Gaal on '95 triumph
Van Gaal on '95 triumph

Louis van Gaal
After glory in 1995 he led Ajax to a second UEFA Champions League final in 1996 before winning two Spanish championships with Barcelona, another Dutch title – to add to the three won with Ajax – with AZ Alkmaar and one with FC Bayern München, with whom he lost the 2010 UEFA Champions League final. Failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup as Netherlands coach but took them to semi-finals of the 2014 edition before being appointed manager at Manchester United.

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