Ajax have become the national champions of the 2021/2022 season. The Amsterdam club crowned themselves the best club in the Netherlands for the 36th time with a victory over sc Heerenveen (5-0) on Wednesday evening. It is a new milestone for the club from Amsterdam.
Trophy presented by Jari Litmanen
Captain Dušan Tadić was handed the eredivisie trophy by club icon Jari Litmanen in a full packed Johan Cruijff ArenA. The 51-year-old Finn played nine seasons for Ajax in the 1990s and early this century. He played 179 eredivisie matches, scored 96 goals and won the eredivisie four times. The midfielder also won the UEFA Champions League and World Cup with Ajax in 1995.
Ten Hag in illustrious list of trainers
The championship represents a fantastic send-off for coach Erik ten Hag. The Ajax coach, under contract to Manchester United next season, is the fourth coach with three eredivisie titles on behalf of Ajax. Frank de Boer (4 titles), Louis van Gaal (3) and Rinus Michels (4) preceded the 52-year-old Ten Hag.
Champions three times in a row with more than 80 points
In the first half of the Eredivisie, Ajax was on a roll. The Amsterdammers won nine matches with at least five goals difference, a shared record. After the winter break, things were more difficult. However, even fewer points were lost, ensuring that Ajax - after tonight - have already amassed 82 points and are the second club to be Dutch champions three times in a row with more than 80 points, after PSV (1986-1988).
Ajax is well ahead of PSV in terms of the number of national championships (36 to 24 titles) and has reached the same level as the Eindhoven team this century (both 9 championships).
Milestones for Blind, Stekelenburg and Gravenberch
For a number of players, Ajax's 36th championship is a great milestone. Daley Blind is the tenth player who has won the Eredivisie at least seven times and the fifth player - after Sjaak Swart, Johan Cruijff, Barry Hulshof and Wim Suurbier - with at least seven national titles for Ajax. Furthermore, 39-year-old Maarten Stekelenburg became champion of the Netherlands again eighteen years after his first national title. The shared longest period for a player between the first and most recent title (Johan Cruijff; also 18 years). Finally, Ryan Gravenberch is the third player with three eredivisie championships before his 20th birthday.