Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

Where are they now? Louis van Gaal's Champions League-winning Ajax team

Ever wonder whatever happened to Finidi George?

The entire Ajax team celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Cup in 1995.
The entire Ajax team celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Cup in 1995.

IN THE 1994-95 campaign, Louis van Gaal’s Ajax team, with an average age of 23, went the entire season unbeaten and defeated Milan 1-0 in the Champions League final.

Here’s where their group of history-makers are now…

1. Edwin van der Sar: Left Ajax in 1999 and spent two seasons at Juventus before being replaced by Gianluigi Buffon. He departed for Fulham, before enjoying a late-career renaissance at Manchester United. Since retirement, he has worked with various charities and done analysis for Dutch television, with rumours suggesting he will soon become Ajax’s goalkeeping coach. He also recent described Louis van Gaal as the “best manager I’ve ever played under”.

2. Michael Reiziger: The full-back played for both Barcelona and Milan after leaving Ajax in 1996, before finishing his career with brief spells at Middlesbrough and PSV. He currently lives in Barcelona and has studied for a Football Management Degree at the Johan Cruyff Institute.

3. Danny Blind (C): Blind finished his career with Ajax in 1999. He then managed the club for a year in the 2005-06 season, before taking over as Director of Football at Sparta Rotterdam. He subsequently returned to Ajax as assistant coach, spending three seasons in that role, before undertaking his current position as assistant coach of the Netherlands.

4. Frank Rijkaard: One of the older players in what was a predominantly young Ajax team, Rijkaard retired at the end of the 1995 season. He has gone on to manage a number of teams, including the Netherlands, Barcelona and Saudi Arabia. He is now Advisor of Player Development at Florida prep school Montverde Academy.

5. Frank de Boer: After leaving Ajax in 1999, the defender played for teams that included Barcelona, Galatasaray and Rangers. He subsequently went into management, and is the current Ajax coach, though he has been linked with the vacant Tottenham manager’s job recently.

6. Clarence Seedorf: Perhaps the most successful of all the players in that team ultimately, Seedorf would win the Champions League on three more occasions after 1995, once with Real Madrid and twice with Milan. And incredibly, he has only just retired with Botafogo and has taken over as AC Milan manager.

7. Finidi George: Perhaps one of the least well-known players in the side, the winger left Ajax in 1996 and spent a couple of years in Spain with Betis and Mallorca, winding down his career in a less-than-memorable spell at Ipswich. He is now a youth coach at Mallorca, having previously been director of international football at Betis.


(Edgar Davids, pictured in his Ajax days)

8. Edgar Davids: Davids went on to enjoy a hugely successful career that encompassed spells at Milan, Barcelona and Juventus. He also played in the Premier League with Tottenham, before returning to Ajax. Most recently, he was player-manager at Barnet, though he left the position in January 2014.

9. Ronald de Boer: Like his twin brother Frank, he also enjoyed post-Ajax spells at Barcelona and Rangers. He has worked as a TV analyst since his retirement and is currently a youth coach at Ajax.

10. Jari Litmanen: In 1999, the Finnish star was bought by Barcelona on the back of his impressive displays with Ajax. He also enjoyed a short but memorable spell at Liverpool and then moved back to Ajax, before playing for a number of smaller clubs before leaving HJK in 2011. He has since worked as a TV pundit, and the possibility of a return to Ajax in a coaching capacity has been mooted.

11. Marc Overmars: Overmars had very successful spells at both Arsenal and Barcelona following his Ajax departure, before finishing his career with the Go Ahead Eagle in 2009. He was then made Ajax’s Director of Football in 2012, having previously served as a youth coach there.


12. Fred Grim: Despite being substitute goalkeeper for the Champions League final, Grim made over 100 appearances for Ajax before retiring in 2002. He became a youth coach at Ajax, before taking over as manager of Almere City in 2012.

13. Winston Bogarde: Bogarde played for both Milan and Barcelona, before an infamous spell at Chelsea where he appeared just nine times in four years. He announced his retirement in 2005 and has ambitions to go into management, working for a period with FC Volendam and also gaining renown as a high-profile poker player.

14. Nwankwo Kanu: Kanu played for Inter, Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth since leaving Ajax. After retiring, he became a UNICEF ambassador. He sued Portsmouth in 2012 over unpaid wages.

15. Patrick Kluivert: Having come off the bench to score the winning goal as an 18-year-old in the Champions League final, Kluivert went on to establish himself as one of the world’s best strikers, playing for Milan, Barcelona and Newcastle. He is now an assistant coach for Holland, having previously served as a coach for both NEC and Twente.

16. Peter van Vossen: After leaving Ajax in 1995, Van Vossen featured for Rangers and Feyenoord among other less high-profile teams. He is set to become coach of Fortuna Sittard next season, having previously had a spell as assistant boss for FC Omniworld.

Lionel Messi promises return to form at World Cup>

Ronald de Boer: ‘I was scared of Van Gaal’>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next: