The world’s foremost football governing body has hailed the efforts of past and presents stars – including three Nigerian heroes – who helped the Dutch side attain and retain its global status, reports Soccernet.ng.
Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, has hailed the trio of Nwankwo Kanu, Sunday Oliseh, and George Finidi for their impact at Ajax and with Nigeria in the nineties.
Ajax, celebrating 120 years of existence, has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 34 Eredivisie titles and 19 KNVB Cups.
Several Nigerian footballers have been part of the Dutch champions’ illustrious history, including the likes of Tijani Babangida and Pius Ikedia.
But Kanu and Finidi achieved the most feats of any Nigerian with Ajax, claiming three Eredivisie titles, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup.
Oliseh moved to the Johan Cruyff Arena after his two compatriots left, but he continued the tradition of winning by claiming a league title and two cup honours.
FIFA, while honouring the three Nigerians on its official website, wrote:
“Ajax midfielder Sunday Oliseh netted a legendary goal for Nigeria against Spain at France 1998, and before him, two other Ajax players had already made a name for themselves on the international stage with Nigeria.
“Nwankwo Kanu won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 and then competed at the World Cup in 1998 and 2002, while Finidi George was a standout performer for the Super Eagles at USA 1994 as they reached the Round of 16.”
Ajax was established on 18 March 1900, and the club has continuously played in the Eredivisie since the league’s inception in 1956.