It’s 25 years since Kanu Nwankwo and Finidi George helped Ajax beat a star-studded AC Milan side to win their fourth Champions League title.
Finidi was on from start to finish while Kanu was a second-half substitute as a Patrick Kluivert strike sealed a stunning win for Louis Van Gaal side.
The two stars left the shores of Nigeria to join the Dutch giants in the pre-season of 1993-1994, and they went on to win three Eredivisie titles and a Champions League.
However, a former teammate, Ronald De Boer, has revealed that the then Ajax manager, Louis Van Gaal, took a gamble on the two Nigerians but it paid off at the end.
De Boer who also played for Barcelona claims Kanu could not hit the ball straight, while Van Gaal had to choose between a Youri Petrov and Finidi George.
But despite two former Nigeria international experiencing European football for the first time then, they played a massive role in Ajax success in the mid-90s.
“We brought Finidi George and a Russian winger, [Youri] Petrov, on a training camp to Finland,” De Boer told Nick Ames on the anniversary of Ajax win against Milan.
“Van Gaal had to pick one and, if I had to choose, I’d probably have gone for the Russian guy. But he chose Finidi and what a great asset he became.
“With Kanu, you could see he had quality, but at first he couldn’t really pass the ball straight and didn’t have a left foot.
“There was clearly some potential, but where does development stop in a player? By the time he left Ajax, he was just unbelievable. All these guys kept on growing.”
Following their success with Ajax, Kanu left for Inter Milan while Finidi George snubbed Real Madrid for Real Betis.