Ajax has drawn relatively heavily for the group stage of the Champions League in Geneva on Thursday. The team from Amsterdam were divided into group D together with Liverpool, Atalanta and FC Midtjylland.
Ronaldo and Messi face each other
Ajax met Liverpool, which has Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum in the team and won the Champions League in 2019, twice before. That was in the European Cup I in the 1966/1967 season, when they won at home with 5-1 and a draw with 2-2.
The home game on December 7, 1966 is known as the ‘fog game’ because it was played in very dense fog. The game is seen as the beginning of Ajax’s international advance.
The Atalanta of Dutch national team-players Hans Hateboer and Marten de Roon makes a big impression in Italy, where it finished third in the last two seasons. In addition, the quarter finals of the Champions League were reached last season. FC Midtjylland is the champion of Denmark and makes its debut in the most important European club tournament.
The first round of the new Champions League season is on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October. The group stage will be concluded with matches on December 8 and 9.
In the other Champions League groups, the confrontation between Juventus and FC Barcelona in group G is the most striking. It means that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will meet for the first time in the group stage and also that Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, who were part of Ajax’s success team in the 2018/2019 season, will face each other.
Defending champion Bayern Munich was placed in group A. The German superpower is linked to Atlético Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Ajax is the only Dutch club in the Champions League this season. Feyenoord and AZ are certain of participating in the Europa League and PSV may also qualify for the second European club tournament on Thursday evening.
Ajax met Liverpool in 1966 in a duel that went down in the books as the ‘fog match’. (Photo: ANP)