Ajax v Juventus background

Two of the European Cup's most famous names meet as Ajax, fresh from ousting the holders, take on Juventus.

Ajax celebrate their victory at Real Madrid
Ajax celebrate their victory at Real Madrid ©Getty Images

Two of European football's most illustrious names come together as Ajax – in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years – welcome Juventus to Amsterdam.

• Both teams produced memorable second-leg comebacks in the round of 16. Ajax overturned a 2-1 home defeat by Real Madrid to oust the holders with a remarkable 4-1 success at the Santiago Bernabéu and reach their first quarter-final since 2002/03; Juve, meanwhile, were in trouble after a 2-0 first-leg loss at Atlético Madrid but recovered with a 3-0 victory back in Turin thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick.

• While Juve are looking to reach a third semi-final in five seasons, Ajax have not made it to the last four since 1996/97, when their campaign was ended by Juve – the team who had also beaten them in the previous season's final.

Watch superb Nedvěd goal for Juventus against Ajax
Watch superb Nedvěd goal for Juventus against Ajax

Previous meetings
• Ajax have won only two of their 12 European fixtures against Juventus, and none since 1974. Juve are unbeaten in their last nine games against the Dutch club, winning five of the last six.

• The teams have met in two European Cup finals; Ajax beat Juve 1-0 in Belgrade in 1973 thanks to Johnny Rep's early goal, but Juve turned the tables in Rome 23 years later. Fabrizio Ravanelli gave Juve an early lead but Jari Litmanen levelled before the break for Ajax, who were bidding to become the first team to retain the UEFA Champions League having beaten AC Milan in the final 12 months earlier; instead Juve were 4-2 winners on penalties.

• Juve have won all four of the teams' two-legged contests, most recently prevailing 2-1 in the Amsterdam first leg of their 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie and progressing after a goalless draw in Turin.

• The Bianconeri have won their last three away games in Amsterdam, including both in the UEFA Champions League – 1-0 in the 2004/05 group stage and 2-1 in the 1996/97 semi-final, setting up a 6-2 aggregate triumph. Juventus were defeated 1-0 in Amsterdam, however, by Real Madrid in the 1998 UEFA Champions League final.

Highlights: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax
Highlights: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax

Form guide
Ajax
• Ajax's record in 12 European Cup quarter-finals is W8 L4:
2002/03 AC Milan L 2-3 (0-0 h, 2-3 a)
1996/97 Atlético Madrid W 4-3 (1-1 h, 3-2 a aet)
1995/96 Borussia Dortmund W 3-0 (2-0 a, 1-0 h)
1994/95 Hajduk Split W 3-0 (0-0 a, 3-0 h)
1979/80 Strasbourg W 4-0 (0-0 a, 4-0 h)
1977/78 Juventus L 0-3 pens (1-1 h, 1-1 a)
1972/73 Bayern München W 5-2 (4-0 h, 1-2 a)
1971/72 Arsenal W 3-1 (2-1 h, 1-0 a)
1970/71 Celtic W 3-1 (3-0 h, 0-1 a)
1968/69 Benfica W 3-0 replay (1-3 h, 3-1 a)
1966/67 Dukla Praha L 2-3 (1-1 h, 1-2 a)
1957/58 Vasus L 2-6 (2-2 h, 0-4 a) 

• The 1969 defeat by Benfica is Ajax's only home loss in a European Cup quarter-final; their record otherwise is W6 D5.

• The Dutch club were without a win in seven UEFA Champions League knockout phase fixtures (D2 L5), since a 3-2 victory at Atlético Madrid in the 1996/97 quarter-final second leg that completed a 4-3 aggregate success, before their win at Real Madrid in the last round.

• Ajax have not won any of their last six home UEFA Champions League knockout phase matches (D3 L3), most recently beating Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the 1995/96 quarter-final second leg (3-0 aggregate).

• The Amsterdammers have lost only one of their 14 European matches in 2018/19 (W8 D5) –  the first-leg defeat against Madrid. They won their first five home games this season before a 3-3 draw against Bayern München on matchday six and the loss to Madrid.

• Ajax are the sole side still involved who came through qualifying. The other 15 teams who reached the knockout rounds all entered the competition at the group stage.

• Ajax are looking for their first win in nine matches against visitors from Serie A. The last time they beat an Italian side in Amsterdam was in December 2002, a 2-1 success against Roma in the UEFA Champions League second group stage.

• The Dutch club have not played Italian opposition since drawing home (1-1) and away (0-0) against AC Milan in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage – extending their unbeaten run against Serie A sides to five matches (W1 D4) since that 2010 loss to Juventus.

• Ajax's record in two-legged ties against Italian clubs is W5 L7; they have lost three of the last four.

Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Atlético
Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Atlético

Juventus
• This is Juve's 19th European Cup quarter-final; their record is W12 L6:
2017/18 Real Madrid L 3-4 (0-3 h, 3-1 a)
2016/17 Barcelona W 3-0 (3-0 h, 0-0 a)
2014/15 Monaco W 1-0 (1-0 h, 0-0 a)
2012/13 Bayern München L 0-4 (0-2 a, 0-2 h)
2005/06 Arsenal L 0-2 (0-2 a, 0-0 h)
2004/05 Liverpool L 1-2 (1-2 a, 0-0 h)
2002/03 Barcelona W 3-2 (1-1 h, 2-1 a aet)
1998/99 Olympiacos W 3-2 (2-1 h, 1-1 a)
1997/98 Dynamo Kyiv W 5-2 (1-1 h, 4-1 a)
1996/97 Rosenborg W 3-1 (1-1 a, 2-0 h)
1995/96 Real Madrid W 2-1 (0-1 a, 2-0 h)
1985/86 Barcelona L 1-2 (0-1 a, 1-1 h)
1984/85 Sparta Praha W 3-1 (3-0 h, 0-1 a)
1982/83 Aston Villa W 5-2 (2-1 a, 3-1 h)
1977/78 Ajax W 3-0 penalties (1-1 a, 1-1 h)
1972/73 Újpest W 2-2 away goals (0-0 h, 2-2 a)
1967/68 Eintracht Braunschweig W 1-0 replay (2-3 a, 1-0 h)
1961/62 Real Madrid L 1-3 replay (0-1 h, 1-0 a)

• Twelve months ago Juve's hopes looked to have been ended by a 3-0 home defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg, but a remarkable fightback in Spain levelled the tie on aggregate – only for Ronaldo's penalty, deep into added time, to finally end their challenge.

• Juve's record in two-legged ties against Dutch clubs is W4 L1.

• Juventus won their first two away games in this season's competition, at Valencia (2-0) and Manchester United (1-0), but have lost the last two – 2-1 at Young Boys on matchday six, although they still finished first in Group H, and 2-0 at Atlético in the round of 16 first leg.

• That defeat in Switzerland ended Juve's five-match winning run in UEFA Champions League away matches.

• Juve are unbeaten in six matches against Eredivisie clubs (W4 D2), since a 2-0 loss at Feyenoord in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League group stage. Three of their five defeats against Dutch teams have come in the Netherlands.

• Winners in 1985 and 1996, Juventus have played in nine European Cup finals – losing a record seven, including all of their last five.

Classic #UCL quarter-final memories
Classic #UCL quarter-final memories

Links and trivia
• Current general director Edwin van der Sar was Ajax's goalkeeper in the 1996 UEFA Champions League final against Juventus, Daley Blind's father Danny captaining the side.

• Van der Sar played for Juventus between 1999 and 2001, and was a team-mate of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2005 and 2009.

• Daley Blind made his Netherlands debut in a 1-1 friendly draw against Italy on 6 February 2013 in the Johan Cruijff ArenA; Andrea Barzagli was in the visiting line-up.

• Ronaldo scored the only goal as Portugal defeated Hakim Ziyech's Morocco in the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.

• Has played in Italy:
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan 2009–10)

• Huntelaar came on for the final five minutes of Milan's 3-0 win against Juventus in January 2010. He worked under current Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri for two months at Milan before departing for Schalke in August 2010.

• Ajax assistant coach Aron Winter played in Italy between 1992 and 1999, spending four seasons with Lazio and three with Internazionale. His record against Juve was W4 D3 L8.

• In 1992/93 Allegri – then a Pescara player – scored home and away against Winter's Lazio, who nevertheless won both games.

• Have played together:
Lisandro Magallán & Rodrigo Bentancur (Boca Juniors 2016/17)

• International team-mates:
Nicolás Tagliafico & Paulo Dybala (Argentina)
Bruno Varela & João Cancelo (Portugal Under-21)

Latest news

Ajax
• Ajax have won nine of their last ten games in all competitions, the exception a 1-0 Eredivisie loss at AZ Alkmaar on 17 March. They won 4-1 at Willem II on Saturday.

• The 2-1 first-leg loss against Real Madrid is Ajax's sole home defeat in 23 games this season in all competitions (W19 D3).

• David Neres has scored six goals in his last seven Ajax matches.

• Dušan Tadić has scored in Ajax's last four home Eredivisie games, six goals in total.

• Noussair Mazraoui and André Onana have both extended their Ajax contracts until 2022.

• Matthijs de Ligt headed his first goal for the Netherlands in a 2-3 home loss against Germany in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying on 24 March, a match that was played at Ajax's Johan Cruijff ArenA.

• David Neres made his Brazil debut in a 3-1 friendly win away to the Czech Republic on 26 March, setting up the second goal.

• Dušan Tadić has 13 goals in his last 15 Eredivisie matches and 17 in his last 21 in all competitions.

• On 27 February Ajax reached the Dutch Cup final with a 3-0 win at Feyenoord. They will play Willem II in the final, also in Rotterdam, on 5 May.

Juventus
• Five days after reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Juventus suffered a first Serie A defeat of the season, going down 2-0 at Genoa. They have won all three games since, coming from behind to beat AC Milan 2-1 at home on Saturday, and have 27 victories in 31 league fixtures in 2018/19. With 84 points and seven games to play, Juve are on track to beat their own record (102 points in 2013/14).

• The loss at Genoa was Juve's first league reverse since the 1-0 home defeat against Napoli on 22 April 2018. It was Juve's first away league defeat since a 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria on 19 November 2017.

• The loss at Genoa was also the first time that Juve failed to score in Serie A since a goalless draw against Roma on 13 May 2018.

• Moise Kean, who has scored in Juve's last three matches including the winner against Milan, has seven goals in his last eight games for club and country.

• On 23 March, Kean became the first player born after 2000 to score for Italy, finding the net against Finland (2-0) aged 19 years 23 days to become the Azzurri's second youngest goalscorer after Bruno Nicolè in 1958 (18 years 258 days). Kean scored again three days later as Italy defeated Liechtenstein 6-0.

• Cristiano Ronaldo went off 30 minutes into Portugal's 1-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw with Serbia on 25 March with a right thigh injury and has not played since.

• Goalkeeper Mattia Perin had to withdraw from the Italy camp with a shoulder injury and is yet to return to action.

• Paulo Dybala missed the games against Empoli (1-0) and Cagliari (2-0) with a calf injury; he returned to score Juve's first goal against Milan from the penalty spot.

• Leonardo Spinazzola suffered a right knee injury against Empoli and missed the Cagliari game, returning against Milan. Martín Cáceres went off after 61 minutes against Cagliari with a thigh injury and missed the weekend win.

• Douglas Costa has not played since 2 February after suffering a recurrence of a thigh injury just before the second leg against Atlético.

• Andrea Barzagli has been out since the 4-1 win over Udinese on 8 March when he suffered a calf injury.

• Sami Khedira underwent heart surgery in February and replaced Emre Can in the first half against Milan, his first appearance since 15 February; Can was taken off with a sprained ankle.

• Daniele Rugani (2023) and Mario Mandžukić (2021) have agreed contract extensions.

• Juan Cuadrado was removed from Juve's UEFA Champions League squad after undergoing surgery on his left knee on 28 December.

• On 16 January Juventus won the Italian Super Cup, beating AC Milan 1-0 thanks to a Ronaldo goal.

• Juve's hopes of a fifth consecutive double were ended when they lost 3-0 to Atalanta in the quarter-finals on 30 January.

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