Louis Van Gaal is one of the coaches with a wealth of experience in the world of football. Some of the biggest teams that he had trained included Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and the Dutch national team.
He has also presented a prestigious trophy for his team. It can be said that every team Van Gaal has trained has always produced brilliant achievements. No exception when he came to train the Dutch national team, where Van Gaal brought Robin Van Persie and his friends ranked third in the 2014 world cup.
Van Gaal is also a figure who brought back the trophy at Manchester United after the Sir Alex Ferguson era. But the best achievement that made him get respected and popularized his name happened 24 years ago. It happened in the 1994/1995 Champions League final with Ajax Amsterdam.
Ajax is the first club trained by Louis Van Gaal. He has been grooming Ajax since 1991 replacing Leo Benhaker and ending until 1997. His career at Ajax was also successful as he presented many trophies, besides three Eredivisie titles, of course, the most phenomenal one was the European champions league title.
Van Gaal’s flashy achievements in the champions league were not easily achieved with his team. Doubts had once arisen to van Gaal, despite having given the Dutch league title and the UEFA Cup. But his capacity in the champions league is still untested.
Besides being considered an inexperienced coach, Van Gaal also lost his best striker, Denis Bergkamp, who moved to Inter Milan in the summer of 1993. On the other hand, the Ajax squad, who was then trained by Van Gaal, had an average age fairly young that is 23 years.
But these doubts motivated him to bring his players to appear as the best and it was proven as he managed to bring Ajax to the final of the 1994/95 Champions League season, after going through the group phase and the knockout round so well.
But at that time, the opponents faced by the club at the final party are not just any ordinary team. De Amsterdammers must face AC Milan, a team of stars and rich experience, which once they faced in the previous group phase.
The AC Milan team faced by van Gaal in the final when it was strengthened by famous names such as Franco Baresi, Roberto Donadoni, Zvonimir Boban, Marcel Desaily, and Paolo Maldini whose talents had begun to shine. Also, they are coached by Fabio Capello who was already quite experienced in the world of coaching.
This party was also Milan’s third final in the last three seasons and they are still also a defending champion. Thus, it was natural if more people were expecting AC Milan to win the trophy. AC Milan’s experienced and classy team looks more powerful than the Ajax youth team handled by Louis van Gaal.
But Van Gaal did not bother with it. Van Gaal was motivated to defeat AC Milan, which once they defeated during the group phase in two meetings with an identical score of 2-0.
In the final match which took place at the Ernst Happel stadium in the city of Vienna, when many predict that AC Milan’s strong team will defeat Ajax, unexpectedly Van Gaal succeeded in bringing his squad, the majority of young players from the academy’s training, to beat AC Milan and won the title.
The hero at that time was Patrick Kluivert who was 18 years old. Entered as a substitute, Kluivert’s goal scored in the 85th minute and made Ajax Amsterdam was suddenly having a party. No one would have thought that they would come out as champions that night.
This title becomes the fourth and the last title for Ajax Amsterdam. This generation who made a surprise and against this impossibility is still remembered as the best generation ever created by Ajax Amsterdam.
Besides van Gaal, a trainer whose career increased after that, the Ajax Amsterdam players in the 1995 Champions League championship team also later had an extraordinary career.