A different Dutchman for the Champions League 1995 final

Compared to last year overconfident Johan Cruyff, who’s “dream-team” was eliminated since the quarters by PSG, Louis van Gaal balanced his speech and slides into an outsider approach.

He knows Ajax’s strengths, and doesn’t doubt his players, nor the game, but prior to take the plane for the 40th Champions League final, he says: “Milan is more used to finals than us. It doesn’t matter that they got more pressure: they like it. They transcend…”

On the other side, Fabio Capello doesn’t hide it: “The Dutch do not know the true Milan. The one they beat during the last fall doesn’t exist anymore. Then, my players are very experienced. They are old sailors who know what to do.”

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In any case, neither the penalty points received after the incidents against Austria Salzburg (3-0), nor the suspended stadium for two Group Stage games, nor Benfica in quarters and PSG in semifinals didn’t impede Milan’s march towards the Champions League 1995 final.

Capello is right to be afraid

However, two things bothered Capello: the absence of last year man of the match, Dejan Savicevic, and the quality of his opponent. “I’ve found no weaknesses in Ajax, and I feel that all the actual good football players are coming from.”

Ajax shows a superior game, but van Gall is not happy after the first half. He explains later, “I said to my players that a 0-0 after a bad game is the sign that we will win. I corrected Rijkaard position by slightly retreat him, which let Zvonimir Boban following him and opening spaces in the center. Then, I introduced two 18 years old players, Kanu and Kluivert. They were the ones to make the difference.”

Meet Ajax the Great, brought to you by Kluivert

Indeed, the last five minutes found a tired Milan that fell under a providential pass by Rijkaard to Kluivert, who scores to the left side. Ajax is back at the peak of Europe. Capello confesses under the shock: “We didn’t deserve to lose it”. But Cruyff, who followed the game from the official stands of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion stadium, doesn’t hide his joy mixed with a touch of revenge: “This is how football should be played”.

The French Milanese, Marcel Desailly admits: “They are strong, young, and fast, they got all the future ahead”. He’s right, but from the other side…

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