Battered, bruised, completely knackered, shinguards sticking out of his socks, Moreno Torricelli cut the perfect figure to sum up the Champions League Final 1995/96. His side had held out against Ajax’ free-flowing style for two hours. By hook or crook they dragged the reigning champions into extra time, penalties even. It may have not been pretty to look at, but it was effective.
We did look at it though, talked about it as well.
But first, here’s Marcello Lippi all suave, smoking a cigar on the sideline at the match:
We already covered the lead-up to the match extensively in Part 1 of the episode, reviewing the Champions League season 1995/96, as well as re-capping Juve’s greatest sides and players. Listen to Part 1 here.
If you want to catch up with Juve’s history quickly, take a look at our “YYFP Shorts: An Incomplete History of Juventus” on our YouTube channel:
Coming into the final Ajax had retained the Dutch championship, whereas Juve only finished fourth in Serie A. Ajax beat Dortmund and Panathinaikos in the QF and SF respectively, Juve went through Real and Nantes.
- 0:00:00 Intro, plugs for all the channels, Facebook and Twitter
- 0:03:00 Quick re-cap and preamble for the final (refs, venue, kits and ceremony)
- 0:08:00 Line-ups (Kluivert on bench, Overmars injured)
- 0:17:20 Kick-off, Juve intensity and general set-up
- 0:28:00 Ajax tactical approach, 1:0 to Juve, Ajax’ response, Del Piero’s role
- 0:40:00 Goalkeeping by van der Sar and Peruzzi, Ajax equalize, Conte injured, Musampa off
- 0:46:15 Ajax’ adjustments at Half-time, penalty to Juve? changes by both sides
- 1:01:00 Extra time, defensive adjustments by Juve; Ajax dominate first half of ET, Juve the second
- 1:06:00 Penalty shoot-out!
- 1:10:00 Awards!
- 1:17:45 Aftermath, Bosman ruling
- 1:33:00 Ajax players infighting, moving on
- 1:40:30 Holland at the Euros 1996, bust-up
- 1:50:00 Signing off
This will have been the last time Ajax appear in our first series, so we took an extensive look at the Dutch giants in our aftermath. First we rolled up the Bosman ruling, which allowed EU players to transfer on a free once their contracts were up. The ruling passed in December 1995. Ajax were the first side really hit by it in the coming summer. Within a few years almost the entire squad of 1994-96 had moved on. Van der Sar and Litmanen held out the longest, until 1999.
- Further reading: The bosman ruling (Law Teacher)
- Further reading: Surviving the times: How the bosman killed Ajax (Just Football)
- Further reading: The Ajax utopia under Loius van Gaal (These Football Times)
The break-up had been some time coming though, as Ajax were strapped for cash when compared to the European heavyweights. This subsequently pitched the old guard and the youngsters on opposing sides. It didn’t help that the media spun this power struggle into a racial narrative.
Here is the full match, should you want to watch it. First half:
Extra time & Penalties (Spoiler! yeez..):