Ajax: Four great teams who saw their best stars sold too soon, including Porto and Monaco

before the raid

Frenkie de Jong has already sealed a £65million move to Barcelona and many more Ajax stars are expected to be sold in the summer

Ajax are a simply delightful team to watch.

They ran rings around Spurs at points during the first leg of thier semi-final tie last Tuesday with their neat intricate passing –  and it took a change of Tottenham’s formation for them to be stopped.

Ajax will be raided in the summer by richer clubs

Ajax will be raided in the summer by richer clubs

One thing is almost certain, however, and that is their squad will be raided in the summer once the transfer window is open.

Midfield starlet Frenkie de Jong has already completed a £65million deal to Barcelona – and there could be much more to come, with Matthijs de Ligt, Andre Onana, Donny van de Beek, David Neres and Hakim Ziyech all heavily linked with a move away.

In light of the reports and the inevitable exodus of talent, talkSPORT.com takes a look at some of the previous teams that have been broken up too soon…


PSV Eindhoven 2005

This PSV side were the last side outside of the ‘Big Five’ leagues to make it to the semi-final of the Champions League prior to Ajax.

The team had a line-up including some legends of the game and heroes on their way to stardom, but it was eventually pulled apart from clubs around Europe.

PSV had a star=studded line-up which was later raided by the big boys

PSV had a star=studded line-up which was later raided by the big boys

Managed by Guus Hiddink, PSV had current Watford stopper Heurelho Gomes between the sticks.

Alex, who was on loan from Chelsea at the time, was also a towering presence at the heart of defence.

Other notable squad members include ex-Man United star Park Ji-Sung, Mark van Bommel and Wilfried Bouma, who all packed their bags after their agonising defeat to AC Milan in the semi-final of Champions League.

Ajax 1996-99

Another incredible team which was picked apart by the big boys was Louis van Gaal’s Ajax side of the middle-to-late 90s.

Van Gaal guided his side to European glory following a victory over AC Milan in 1996 and Clarence Seedorf departed for Sampdoria following the triumph.

Ajax had a stunning team with the likes of Mark van Bommel and Edgar Davids in their ranks

Ajax had a stunning team with the likes of Mark van Bommel and Edgar Davids in their ranks

The next year’s summer was when the team was really raided. Milan president Silvio Berlusconi swooped in for defender Michael Reizifer and midfielder Edgar Davids, with Nwankwo Kanu heading to Inter.

The year after that Marc Overmars and Patrick Kluivert went with Van Gaal to Barcelona and they were followed by the De Boer twins the following year.

Monaco 2017

This Monaco side was chock full of stars and defied the odds by beating Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 crown.

They almost went all the way in the Champions League too, beating the likes of Pep Guardiola’s Man City before being they were defeated by Juventus in the semi-final.

The list of stars in their team was endless, with global superstar Kylian Mbappe and Bernardo Silva both up top in the forward three.

Monaco players line-up ahead of their Champions League semi-final with Juventus in 2017

Monaco players line-up ahead of their Champions League semi-final with Juventus in 2017

Benjamin Mendy was a powerhouse on the left side of defence and Chelsea flop Tieumoue Bakayoko was the solid anchor in front of the back line.

PSG and City then went in for three of those stars, with Silv, Mendy and Mbappe heading in their direction for a combined £135million.

Bakayoko was sold to Chelsea for £35million and as we know, things didn’t pan out well for the Frenchman in west London.

Porto 2004

This was the team where Jose Mourinho made his name as one of the rising stars of management.

Porto’s side was littered with talent from across the Primeira Liga and he then desecrated the team by bringing several of them to Chelsea.

He won the Champions League with Porto with defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira, who later went to the Blues.

Mourinho guided this Porto to team to Champions League glory in 2004

Mourinho guided this Porto to team to Champions League glory in 2004

Deco was a target for Chelsea but he opted to go to Barcelona, while Pedro Mendes joined Spurs.

The following season, Porto fell apart and slipped two second in the league, ridding of two managers in the process.

No team outside of the ‘Big Five’ leagues has won the prestigious tournament since.

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