Wednesday, April 20, 2011

European Cup 1972 1973 Ajax Amsterdam Juventus Turin

Final
30 May 1973
Stadion FK Crvena Zvezda, 

Belgrade
Attendance: 93,500
Referee: Milivoje Gugulović


"Next Wednesday we shall all become Ajax fans. There can't be a true football supporter in Great Britain who doesn't want the Dutch Champions to beat Juventus in the European Cup Final in Belgrade. Ajax ... the aces of attacking football, are surely one of the finest club sides ever seen.
Juventus... despite their talented forwards, seem frightened to fully express themselves and won few friends in England when they beat Derby in the Semi-Finals. It will be good for the game if Ajax win their third consecutive European Cup Final, while Juventus, who scored a paltry 48 goals in winning the 1972 Italian Championship, would not be such a good advertisement for the sport. Not that Juventus are a bad, or even a dirty side. It is simply that they have players who are masters of the sly foul ask Derby County!

Ajax on the other hand, think only about playing pure football and scoring goals. Let us take a closer look at the two Finalists, starting with Ajax. I was lucky enough to see the Dutch Champions in action against three of Europe's top teams recently Feyenoord, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. I saw them score eight goals, conceding only two. Comparisons with the great Real Madrid team of about 15 years ago are inevitable, but surely Ajax, like Real, have proved that they are undoubtedly the best club side in the world of their era. They are famous for their "total football." l'm not too sure what this is, but perhaps it stems from the total belief they have in their ability. Against both Bayern and Real in earlier Rounds, Ajax failed to score in the first half at home. They didn't panic, though. They simply kept plugging away, stroking the bail around, waiting for the opening to come. This is the attitude of a team that (oses only two or three times a year. Ajax believe in themselves and their ability. They power their way through defonces with skill, not muscle. And, as they say in boxing, a skillful boxer will always beat a good fighter. Ajax, however, aren't unbeatable. They are, after ail, only human and make errors like ail teams their errors are very few and far between, though. From what I saw, l'd say Ajax are weak in only two positions goalkeeper and right-back. Heinz Stuy can be brilliant in goal, but he does not rate as highly as his team-mates and Ajax's standards are sky high. He is weak on crosses and bas a tendency to drop balls he should hold. Wirn Suurbier, the right-back, has lost a little of his speed and both the Bayern and Real left-wingers gave him a roasting.

 Apart from these two positions, Ajax are as near to perfection as is possible. You ail know about Cruyff and Keizer, but the player to keep a special eye on is Ruud Krol, the left back who wears the number five shirt.l'd say that Krol is the most complete defender in Europe. He reads the game like Bobby Moore, tackles like Norman Hunter, has the casual arrogance of Franz Beckenbauer and runs at opposing defences on the overlap in a way that Terry Cooper made famous. In the games I saw, Krol was beaten only once by his winger. If any one player stands for ail that is good about the "total football" of Ajax, l'd say Krol was the man.Watch the way he works htmself into scoring positions — ifs bad enough for opponents to have to mark Cruyff without defenders joining in too!Krol's main task will be to mark the veteran Altafini, still a great player despite his 34 years. Krol will do that. . . and a lot more besides!
Juventus will obviously be the underdogs but their biggest (and perhaps only!) chance will be to catch Ajax "on the rebound." When Ajax attack, ifs usually with ten men, and if Juventus.can break quickly from defence, Ajax could be in trouble. Both Real and Bayern caught the Ajax defence at sixes and sevens — maybe Ajax won't be so lucky against Juventus.

Juventus might put the emphasis on stopping goals, but they are quite capable of scoring them, too. In Turin, they could hâve had five or six against Derby, and even at the Baseball Ground Anastasi and Altafini showed their danger. Anastasi will be marked by big, bearded B  rry Hulshoff, and this should be a fascinating tussle. Both sides use a man-for-man marking System, like most Continental sides, so very much depends on the form of individual players as well as the ail-round team performance. Having said that Juventus are defensive, l'm sure they will attack more than Inter Milan, whom Ajax beat 2-0 in last year's Final. Inter were so defensive that their forwards were hardly ever caught off side at least Juventus forwards are thaï far advanced at times! The Italians have a stern, uncompromising defence, marshalled by skipper and sweeper "Billy" Salvadore. In front of him, centre-hatf Morini will stick to Cruyff like a shadow at least, he'll try to. Derby's inexperience at this level showed in the Semi-Finals, but I don't think the Ajax players will be intimidated by the ankle-tapping or other dubious tactics that Juventus put the emphasis on. Looking at the two stries, it is difficult to forecast anything but an Ajax victory. They beat Inter in glorious style a year ago, and since then they have had only one change in their line-up: Rep taking over from Swart on the wing. Ajax play football as it should be played: Juventus will be ail out to stop them from doing this by swamping the midfield with four or five men. We've nothing against Juventus, who are obviously a very good team in their own way.
But like you, we're greât admirers of Ajax and we're looking forward to them showing the world what a fine side they are. " (Original May 73 magazine, this guy is probably a Derby fan...)

Ajax: Stuy, Suurbier, Krol, Blankenburg, Hulshoff, Neeskens. Haan, Mûhren, Cruyff, Rep, Keizer (manager: Kovacs) [Rep 4]
(juventus: Zoff, Longobucco, Marchetti, Furino, Morini, Saivadore, Causio (Cuccureddu), Altaflni, Anastasi, Capello, Bettega (Haller) (manager: Vycpalek)

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  Like the Final the previous year, this encounter between Ajax and Juventus was one of exuberance against obduracy. of thrilling, attacking football against defensive parsimony.
The young forward Johnny Rep, soon to be a mainstay of the Dutch national team, was drafted in to the A|ax side as a replacement for Swart. and was the only member of the side not to have played in a Final. Indeed, for four of the team - Cruyff, Suurbier, Keizer and Hulshoff- this was their fourth Final.
On an oppressively hot and steamy night in Belgrade, Ajax did not wait long to strike. In the fourth minute, Blankenburg sent over a long high cross to the far post of the (uventus net and the blond-haired Rep rose above defender Marchetti to head past Dino Zoff. The Dutch, particularly in the first half, overwhelmed the disappointing Italians, but failed to capitalise on the
number of chances they created. The leasing and prompting of Cruyff was tormenting the Juventus defence, but his team-mates could not take full advantage. A brïïliant cut-back by Cruyff from the right in the 40th minute found Mûhren in space in space but unable to convert the opportunity.
In the second half, Causio, Anastasi and Altaflni moved forward in an attempt to get the equaliser, but A]ax enjoyed most of the possession and easily contained the Juventus counter-attacks. The supremely confident Dutchmen strolled through the half, arrogantly stroking the bail between them and displaying ail their skills and artistry. When the whistle went, A|ax had become only the second team, after Real Madrid, to have won the European Cup three times in succession.
 The first Champions Cup Final in eastern Europe, in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade, saw Ajax play the very finest football of their entire reign. They went ahead through striker Johnny Rep after barely four minutes and followed up with some of the most fluid, inventive football ever seen in a European final before or since. They turned Juventus inside out, upside down and back to front. They played such wonderful sweeping football in the first half that they could have won by a hatful of goals. But it was almost as if they became bored by their own domination.
Juventus had gained extra spark along the qualifying route by the sensibly restricted use of the veteran Brazilian, Jose Altafini, Milan's two-goal hero in the 1963 defeat of Benfica.
In the final, however, he was played from the start, which was a mistake by coach Cestmir Vycpalek.
Juve would have done better to begin cautiously then introduce Altafini if and when they needed to chase the game or spring a tactical surprise. Instead, by the closing stages when Juve needed to push, his legs had gone.
Juve had a solid backbone. Dino Zoff would be Italy's goalkeeper-captain when they won the World Cup nine years later; Roberto Bettega would one day become Juve's chief executive, and Fabio Capello a trophy-gathering coach with Juve, Milan and Real Madrid.
But the here and now belonged to Ajax, albeit only by that single goal. Juventus could do nothing, on or off the pitch - and it was off the pitch where the ongoing contention remains.







12 comments:

  1. Le commentaire évoque la demi finale Derby County vs juventus qui avait suscité je crois la colère de Brian Clough et Peter Taylor...Ce match avait-il été diffusé à l"époque ? Je n'en ai vu qu'un court extrait sur le net. Merci.

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  2. hi,
    have you got the semifinal 72-73: Juventus-Derby County?

    max

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  3. L'ajax ne donne pas l'impression de s'être forcé pour gagner cette finale.En même temps le plus dur a été fait contre le bayern et le real.
    Dis, Wildbunch, est-ce que le match de 71 ajax atletico madrid (3-0) est disponible quelquepart?

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  4. Yes That ore match commentary is really fun. it could sound like an Barc Inter pre comments from 2010. That Juve derby doesn't exists on tv broadcast from what i know.... unfortunatly.
    There's a Atletico Ajax but it's the other leg i think.

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    Replies
    1. I have Atlético-Ajax, demi-final 1st. leg 70-71, but it is not originally recorded by me. It´s a download (I don't remember where it is from)

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    2. Thanks marino but originals only

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    3. OK. I am going to send you an email with the list of my original matches, if you are interested. Thanks

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  5. please, visit and share with your friends my blog about world cup qualifying

    http://world-cup-qualifying.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Massimo
    can't acces registration without facebook

    ReplyDelete
  7. But, I remember seeing on French TV the second leg Derby County vs Juventus. A real battle with 10 italians defending in their own penalty area. The game ended 0-0 with Derby missing a penalty kick and getting one man sent off.
    But no news from the first leg on French TV. Anyway it was in the afternoon.

    Laurent

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  8. i didn't know a broadcast exitsted from French tv. Maybe one day....

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  9. I hope you can soon upload it again =)

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