As Ajax and Lyon prepare to meet this week we look back to their first encounter and find the two most decorated active footballers plus the 'Maldini of the Carpathians'.
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Zlatan Ibrahimović has never won the UEFA Champions League but life in the competition could not have got off to a better start for the Swedish forward back in 2002, when he scored twice in Ajax's 2-1 victory against Lyon. Ajax and Lyon meet again this week, with Manchester United their potential final opponents in Stockholm, though a serious knee injury means Ibrahimović will play no part.
1 Zlatan Ibrahimović
A striker with the skill and technique to back up supreme confidence. Ibrahimović is widely regarded as Sweden's greatest player (he has been named player of the year 11 times!) and has won titles wherever he has been since leaving home-town club Malmö for Ajax in 2001. The only thing that has eluded the 35-year-old is a major UEFA club trophy, though with current employers Manchester United in the other UEFA Europa League semi-final, the wait may soon be over.
2 Cristian Chivu
The 'Maldini of the Carpathians' joined Ajax as an 18-year-old in 1999, departing four years later for €18m, then a club-record sale. He clinched the double in Amsterdam in 2001/02, was voted 2002 Dutch player of the year and received the captaincy aged 21. He was subsequently a Serie A runner-up three times in four seasons with Roma, then landed the Scudetto in each of his first three campaigns at Inter, recovering from a fractured skull to help his side win the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League under José Mourinho. Chivu retired in 2014 and remains in Milan, working as a UEFA technical observer and running academies in his native Romania.
The most decorated current player in the world, Maxwell has collected 36 trophies to date. Ajax was the Brazilian left-back's first European port of call aged 19, winning the Dutch double in his first term and adding another title in 2003/04 along with being named Dutch player of the year. In 2006 he signed for Inter (linking with up Ibrahimović), winning the Scudetto in each of his three campaigns in Italy, and the trophies have kept coming after switches to Barcelona in 2009 and, since 2012, Paris. He is now competing for a fifth successive Ligue 1 winners' medal.
Other snap shots
- Barcelona's 1997 Cup Winners' Cup side
- Maradona's Napoli reign supreme, 1989
- When Benfica beat Mourinho's Porto
- When Celtic got the better of Barcelona
- Barcelona sink Arsenal's 'Invicibles'
- When Valencia got the better of Barça
- When Paris beat Barcelona's dream team
- Trezeguet sets up Juve for Madrid win
- When Monaco stunned mighty Madrid
- Barcelona silence Madrid at the Bernabéu
- Ronaldo's Old Trafford standing ovation
- Liverpool's Istanbul heroes