Crest Love: #14 – Ajax

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With 33 Eredivisie titles and 4 European Cups, the club with the world famous youth academy; Ajax of Amsterdam are the Netherlands’ most successful club. Three time Ballon d’Or winner Johan Cruyff along with a host of the world’s best players including Marco Van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Brian and Michael Laudrup have all played for the current Dutch champions. Rinus Michels’s Total Football became synonymous with Ajax and the Dutch national team. Cruyff who played under Michels would later go on to manage Barcelona and impliment a version of the philosophy which laid the groundwork for Pep Guardiola’s Tiki Taka.

Founded in 1900 the club originally played in an all black kit with a red sash tied around the waist. They soon changed to a red and white striped shirt. The first Ajax crest depicted a footballer in red and white stripes with black shorts and socks. Promotion to the Dutch first division, then called the Eerste Klasse or ‘First Class’, under an Irish manager named Jack Kirwan meant the club had to change its kit because of a clash with Sparta Rotterdam. Away shirts did not feature in those days and regualations meant that the newest member in the division would have to change their colours should a clash occur. Ajax adopted the white shirts and shorts with a wide red stripe that has become one of the most instantly recognisable kits in football.

The Greek hero which gave the club its name was introduced to the crest in 1928 and has remained ever since. 1990 saw a modern interpretation of the old logo with a minimalist line drawing featuring 11 lines symbolising the number of players on a football team. From 1991 to 2008 the Ajax shirt was sponsored by Dutch state bank ABN AMRO, which was written vertically down the left hand side.

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