Can Ajax now go all the way in the Champions League?

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Ajax and their young stars are capturing the hearts of Europe at a rate of knots.

The Dutch club slayed another European giant in Juventus on Tuesday night to reach the Champions League final for only the fourth time in their history under the modern format of the competition.

Juventus aren't the first to fall at the hands of the young Dutch outfit, either, with Real Madrid being sent packing in the Round of 16,

So now it's Manchester City or Tottenham who stand in Ajax's way as they look to reach the Champions league final.

They've already punched above their weight this season, but can they go all the way?

What they have achieved so far

It's been a sensational European campaign for Ajax who, all the while, remain very much in contention to win their domestic league also.

With an average starting XI age of just 21, Ajax have done the unimaginable this season to reach the Champions League semi-final.

The Amsterdam club came through three rounds of qualifying to reach the Champions League before finishing second in their group, behind Bayern Munich, remaining unbeaten in the competition.

They then suffered their first defeat in Europe this year at the hands of Real Madrid, before winning 4-1 away from home at the Santiago Bernabeu to complete the most wonderful of comebacks.

Erik ten Hag's men then drew 1-1 with Juventus at home, seemingly leaving them with a lot to do, before pulling off another European shock.

With the clean, crisp and quality football we've grown used to seeing, they defeated Juventus 2-1 away from home to progress thanks to Van de Beek and De Ligt's goals.


It's only the fourth time they have reached this stage of the competition in this modern format and the youngest team to do so.

Much has been made of the achievement in itself, but there's a lot more to it than a good cup run.

This is a team largely made up of players who have come through the youth ranks at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

They have a clear philosophy, one that involves quick, precise passing and one that would usually come undone against Europe's elite.

But they have stuck to their guns, refused to adjust and mastered an entertaining brand of play that the likes of Real Madrid and juventus simply haven't been able to deal with.

The achievement in itself is hugely impressive, but the context of it, the way it's been done and the youthful nature of the squad who have achieved it makes it that much more special.

Who stands in their way

Ajax will face one of the two remaining English clubs in the semi final.

Currently, three English teams remain in the competition but with Tottenham and Manchester City going head-to-head on Wednesday, only two will remain.

Ajax will face one of either Manchester City or Tottenham and if they can come through that, they will take on either Barcelona or Liverpool in the final.


Can they go all the way?

It would take some doing.

Barcelona have to be favourites to lift the trophy having put a great deal of emphasis on winning the famous title this season.

The Catalan giants already have their league title all-but sewn up, giving them the liberty to rest players, and they have proven they have what it takes to win the Champions League in terms of talent and game management.

Ajax, like two of the other remaining teams in the competition, also have a league title race to worry about.

Beyond that, Liverpool, if they can defeat Barcelona, aren't to be taken lightly, and neither are Ajax's next opponents.

They would, of course, prefer to face Tottenham in the semi-final, and Manchester City clearly have the ability to take down Ajax if they perform as they have this season.

Having said that, Real Madrid and Juventus has the ability on paper and neither could live with Ajax's style of play.

The Dutch giants will be hoping that pattern repeats itself.

Can they reach the final? Of course, they have a great shot of continuing this unbelievable run, but to win it would require something truly extraordinary.

If they can pull that off with a squad this young, this inexperienced and up against so many of the world's best, it would have to go down as one of the greatest sporting feats of the modern day.

Dusan Tadic Ajax
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