Real Madrid vs Ajax
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Wednesday, September 15 2010
19:45 BST (+1 GMT)
The two clubs, Real Madrid and Ajax have met six times in European competitions, with Ajax winning in four whereas Madrid triumphant only in one in 1967. The story is different in the UEFA Champions League, where Madrid have won nine and Ajax have won four.
Mourinho has a good record against the Ajax manager Martin Jol. Mourinho’s Chelsea beat Jol’s Tottenham five times in seven occasions in the Premier League.
The Coveted Champions League Title
Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid will set sail in the seas of Champions League to conquer the third title for the manager and the tenth for the club. Madrid is to face another European giant AFC Ajax who have previously won the title four times but they last played in the competition in 2005/2006.
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Also, it has been six years since Madrid have gone past the round of 16. Which saw club president Florentino Perez flood the transfer market with $451 million on players and Mourinho to restore success in Europe. Probably the only serious challenger to Manchester City.
Ajax’s last title, however, came in 1995 when they beat AC Milan in the final. The Dutch club’s youth academy is known for producing excellent players and it has played a vital role in their success over the years.
Mourinho, of course, won the Champions League gold last season with Inter Milan and Real Madrid have been thriving for one for a long, long time now. Over the recent years, Madrid has been like the England of Champions League – big names, big reputation but nothing to show for it. Madrid have at least won something.
Things got bad to worse when Pep Guardiola took over their fierce rivals from Catalan and Barcelona saw the record-breaking height of success and back-to-back league titles.
Mourinho was brought in to spark the immensely talented squad into action and bring the league title and more importantly the Champions League back to Bernabeu.
“Real Madrid want their 10th just as much as I want my third but we both know it’s very difficult.
“There’s a group of six, seven or eight teams that have what it takes to win this title.
“Even though it’s our first season together and we are in a period of construction, if we get past the opening round and get to the last 16 we’ll start to get stronger and be more positive about the future.”
Injury & Suspension Update
Cristiano Ronaldo has already come back from injury in the game against Osasuna over the weekend and will most probably be available tonight.
Iker Casillas gave away three penalties last season in the Champions League so he better be careful if he wants his club to go beyond the round of 16.
Ajax is returning to the Champions League after missing out in their last four attempts. Their last attempt came when they lost in the round of 16 to Inter Milan in 05/06.
Ajax were a point behind Eredivisie winners FC Twente last season and this season after five games, the Amsterdammers are still second behind PSV.
Last season Ajax was in the Europa League and they lost to the Italian giants Juventus in the round of 32. Year before that, in the UEFA Cup, Ajax were beaten in the round of 16 at the hands of the French outfit Marseille.
Their coach Martin Jol is making his managerial debut in the biggest European competition.
Injury & Suspension Update
Uruguayan World Cup hero Luis Suarez will have to sit out the match due to suspension.
Watch REAL MADRID VS AJAX Live Online
You can watch Real Madrid take on Ajax live online as well as all other Champions League matches, plus hundreds of football games from around the world. Read our live Champions League football page for more details.