Ajax’ year of 2019 captured in 34 photographs

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The turn of the decade is now behind us, but since the first match of this year is still more than a week away, we’ll be taking one last look back on the year passed. Life as an Ajax supporter was exceptionally good in 2019, the year in which Ajax claimed their 34th Eredivisie championship. Below are 34 photographs of all the memorable highs and lows of 2019 in chronological order.

  1. Ajax 4 – 4 SC Heerenveen
    January 20th, Eredivisie
Kik Pierie celebrates his late equalizer in the Johan Cruijff ArenA with his Heerenveen teammates. His goal meant a false start to the year for Ajax, though they would go on to beat Heerenveen 3-1 in the KNVB Cup just four days later.
  1. Frenkie de Jong to FC Barcelona
    January 23rd
Frenkie De Jong signs for FC Barcelona in the company of representatives of both clubs involved. Ajax would receive a sum of up to 86 million euros, and the fans could enjoy Frenkie for another few months, which they did.
  1. Feyenoord 6 – 2 Ajax
    January 27th, Eredivisie
Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring one of his two goals that day. It was arguably Ajax’ worst showing of that season, and it came at the worst possible moment. To lose the Klassieker in such dramatic fashion was a tough pill to swallow.
  1. Ajax 1 – 2 Real Madrid
    February 13th, UEFA Champions League round of 16
Nicolás Tagliafico loses out in a two-versus-one situation with Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal of Real Madrid. Ajax put up a good fight in the first match of the tie, but they were ultimately robbed of a result by a late Asensio goal.
  1. Feyenoord 0 – 3 Ajax
    February 27th, KNVB Cup semifinals
Nicolás Tagliafico’s crazy face came out when he scored Ajax’ second goal of the game. Ajax got their revenge on the archrivals exactly one month after the 6-2 battering. Feyenoord was knocked out of the cup, and Ajax could look forward to playing the final on Feyenoord’s home ground.
  1. Real Madrid 1 – 4 Ajax
    March 5th, UEFA Champions League round of 16
Ajax celebrate their historic upset in the Champions League as the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu quickly empties. The team who had won the previous three editions of the Champions League was knocked out by Europe’s favorite underdogs.
  1. Ajax 3 – 1 PSV
    March 31st, Eredivisie
Dušan Tadić took his responsibility by converting a penalty. Ajax had suffered a red card and a PSV equalizer in one minute, but they still managed to score twice after that. The gap to PSV in the Eredivisie was brought back to two points.
  1. Ajax 1 – 1 Juventus
    April 10th, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
Cristiano Ronaldo shakes the hand of Ajax youngster Jurgen Ekkelenkamp. The latter was promptly given the status of a club hero when he decided to drag CR7 to the ground in the final stages of the match. It’s not sportsmanship, but it’s dedication.
  1. Juventus 1 – 2 Ajax
    April 16th, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
Captain Matthijs de Ligt rose to the occasion when he scored Ajax’ second goal in Turin. After a close match with ‘Mr. Champions League’ and his men, Ajax qualified for their first Champions League semifinal in 22 years.
  1. FC Groningen 0 – 1 Ajax
    April 20th, Eredivisie
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gladly accepted a booking for taking off his shirt when he saved Ajax from a draw in Groningen. Ajax was tied on points with PSV at this point in the Eredivisie, and Huntelaar kept his team in the race with a late winner.
  1. Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 1 Ajax
    April 30th, UEFA Champions League semifinals
Donny van de Beek ‘screams’ in his goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Ajax maintained their incredible European away form all the way to the Champions League semifinals. Given the balance of power that day in London, Ajax should have scored more than just one goal.
  1. Willem II 0 – 4 Ajax
    May 5th, KNVB Cup final
Daley Blind lifts the KNVB Cup in jubilation after a 4-0 beating of Willem II. Ajax totally outclassed the cup fighters from Tilburg and deservedly won their first piece of silverware of the season. They were still in the race for the Eredivisie and the Champions League.
  1. Ajax 2 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur
    May 8th, UEFA Champions League semifinals
The utterly distraught players of Ajax try to cope with the loss of their Champions League dreams. They came as close to the final as possible, leading the tie with three goals at half-time. Disaster struck just 30 seconds away from the final whistle.
  1. De Graafschap 1 – 4 Ajax
    May 15th, Eredivisie
Ajax officially won their 34th Eredivisie title on May 15th away in Deventer. There was virtually no pressure on the team for this match, as PSV was already trailing by three points and too many goals.
  1. Championship celebration
    May 16th
Museumplein was absolutely packed with Ajax supporters to celebrate the most successful season since 1995. Ajax may not have won the Champions League, but reaching the semifinal and winning a domestic double made for a hugely impressive season.
  1. Training camp in Bramberg, Austria
    July 13th to 19th
After a well-earned vacation, most players of Ajax headed south to Austria to prepare for the following season in the clean air of the Alps. Matthijs de Ligt was absent, as he was close to finalizing a transfer. Quincy Promes, the biggest signing of the summer, did attend the training camp.
  1. Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus
    July 16th
Matthijs de Ligt was soon presented by his new employer, Juventus, the team he had personally knocked out of the Champions League exactly three months prior. Ajax lost their captain and their golden boy for 75 million euros.
  1. Ajax 2 – 0 PSV
    July 27th, Johan Cruijff Schaal
The Johan Cruijff Schaal, the Dutch Supercup, had to be won against runner-ups PSV since Ajax had won both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup last season. Goals by Kasper Dolberg and Daley Blind earned Ajax the trophy they deserved.
  1. Vitesse 2 – 2 Ajax
    August 3rd, Eredivisie
Donny van de Beek walks off in disappointment after the home side scored their second goal of the evening. This was not the start of the Eredivisie that Ajax had hoped for, they were trailing two points behind AZ from day one.
  1. Ajax 3 – 2 PAOK
    August 13th, UEFA Champions League qualifiers
Dušan Tadić, the new captain of Ajax, tucked away two penalties in the second leg of the tie with PAOK Saloniki. Despite reaching the top 4 in Europe last season, Ajax was still forced to fight for their spot in the Champions League through qualifiers and play-offs. They beat PAOK 5-4 on aggregate.
  1. Ajax 2 – 0 APOEL Nicosia
    August 28th, UEFA Champions League play-offs
Edson Álvarez is in ecstasy after scoring his first goal for Ajax and his first goal in Europe. Ajax did not have as much difficulty with APOEL as they’d had with PAOK. Ajax reached the group stage of the champions league, partly thanks to newcomers Álvarez and Martínez.
  1. Ajax 4 – 1 SC Heerenveen
    September 14th, Eredivisie
Nicolás Tagliafico is in mid-air as he scores one of the best goals of his career. His name would echo through the Johan Cruijff ArenA twice that day, as he scored two of Ajax four goals. Ajax is building on an impressive winning streak in the Eredivisie.
  1. Ajax 3 – 0 Lille OSC
    September 17th, UEFA Champions League group stage
Edson Álvarez performs his traditional celebration from Mexico after scoring against Lille. Ajax’ Champions League was off to a flying start when they beat Lille at home with a comfortable margin. Álvarez’ goal was the highlight of the match.
  1. PSV 1 – 1 Ajax
    September 22nd, Eredivisie
Quincy Promes draws his mask after equalizing for Ajax away in Eindhoven. There was a lot of excitement around this match, as Ajax and PSV were tied on points atop the Eredivisie table. It was a very even draw in the end, and Ajax and PSV would remain tied in points right up until the tenth round.
  1. Ajax 5 – 0 Fortuna Sittard
    September 25th, Eredivisie
Quincy Promes shows off his goal tally after bagging his hattrick against Fortuna Sittard. The man who came from Sevilla for under 16 million euros continued to impress in his first season with Ajax. His link with Hakim Ziyech on the opposite flank proved to be lethal.
  1. Valencia 0 – 3 Ajax
    October 2nd, UEFA Champions League group stage
Hakim Ziyech realizes he scored an absolute screamer against Valencia. Ajax won the second game of the group stage with the same numbers as the first. They have Hakim Ziyech to thank for a world-class performance, and Dani Parejo for missing a penalty.
  1. Ajax 0 – 1 Chelsea
    October 23rd, UEFA Champions League group stage
Michy Batshuayi leaves Blind and Tagliafico on the ground as he scores the winner for Chelsea. The first major blow of the season was delivered by Lampard’s Chelsea in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. It was a close match in which Ajax only just lost out.
  1. Ajax 4 – 0 Feyenoord
    October 27th, Eredivisie
The Ajax ultras prepared a giant banner with their slogan “F-side is not easy” for the highly-anticipated Klassieker. Ajax put on a show for their fanatics, sending Feyenoord back home to Rotterdam with a 4-0 beating to nurse. Ajax was now the lone leader of the league, as AZ got the better of PSV that same day.
  1. Chelsea 4 – 4 Ajax
    November 5th, UEFA Champions League group stage
Gianluca Rocchi sends both Daley Blind and Joel Veltman off the field in the 69th minute. One of the craziest matches in Ajax’ European history transpired in November 2019. Ajax scored four goals on Chelsea in London, but foolish fouls and debatable calls from the referee brought Chelsea back from the dead. The VAR had to save Ajax from a 5-4 defeat.
  1. Lille OSC 0 – 2 Ajax
    November 27th, UEFA Champions League group stage
André Onana performs a wonderful save in Lille. Ajax took back the lead in the group from Chelsea after beating Lille OSC away from home. Much like the reverse fixture, Lille was dangerous but goalless. André Onana showed his class on multiple occasions.
  1. FC Twente 2 – 5 Ajax
    December 1st, Eredivisie
Noa Lang celebrates one of his goals with the away fans in Enschede. The Ajax squad was riddled with injuries at this point in the season, and youngsters like Noa Lang were called upon to step in. Lang scored a hattrick against Twente as Ajax came back from a two-goal deficit.
  1. Ajax 0 – 1 Valencia
    December 10th, UEFA Champions League group stage
Vice-captain Daley Blind fainted during the second half of Ajax – Valencia. Ajax only had to win or draw at home against Valencia, but they failed to do so. In a game that was hindered by fouls and dives, Ajax lost both the Champions League and Daley Blind, who was later diagnosed with a heart condition.
  1. AZ 1 – 0 Ajax
    December 15th, Eredivisie
Myron Boadu of AZ was the center of attention after his late winning goal against Ajax. A week from hell was complete when Ajax lost three consecutive games to Willem II, Valencia, and AZ. Their lead in the Eredivisie was now reduced to goal difference only.
  1. Ajax 6 – 1 ADO Den Haag
    December 22nd, Eredivisie
17-year-old Ryan Gravenberch receives the plaudits for scoring on his debut in the starting line-up. Despite a disappointing December, 2019 still ended on a high for Ajax. Erik ten Hag granted Gravenberch, Ekkelenkamp, and Traoré a spot from the start. All three of them scored in the 6-1 victory over ADO Den Haag.
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