THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Notable kits of yesteryear

Ajax952 May ~ When Dutch bank ABN AMRO was part sold to Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007, anyone who'd played five-a-side the previous decade felt strangely insightful about global financial news. After Ajax's 1-0 win over Milan in the 1995 Champions League final, Britain's Astroturf courts were as peppered with this shirt as they currently are with Barcelona tops.

Ajax were Umbro's first European champion client since Liverpool 11 years previously. Although heavily flecked with red and as violently over-fussy as most mid-1990s strips, Louis van Gaal's side were only the second, after Manchester United in 1968, to win the European Cup in a predominantly blue shirt. But the most notable aspect was the sponsor.

The expiry of UEFA's contract with the European Broadcasting Union meant this was the first European Cup final to allow shirt sponsorship. Moreover, the vertical, off-centre positioning of the lettering was classically "Ajax". The stylish mastery of space evoked their Total Football heritage, while reprising the famous single red block of their home strip.

Ajax lost the following season's final on penalties, in their home strip, to a Juventus in an all-blue change kit. It remains the closest anyone's come to retaining the Champions League. Van Gaal then left for the Nou Camp, where he'd lay the foundations for the new millennium's most popular five-a-side top. Alex Anderson

 

Related articles

European semi-finals lack illumination as established names dominate
Embed from Getty Images The staginess of finals – sit behind the goal, wear your colours and hold up your part of the mosaic like good...
My Turn: The autobiography by Johan Cruyff
Macmillan, £20Reviewed by Jonathan O’BrienFrom WSC 361, March 2017Buy this book Until just over a year ago, one of Dutch football&...