If Eusebio’s ‘good bye’, however in graceful style, was expected, another ‘good bye’ was neither graceful, nor expected. Ajax was to rule the football world for ever and ever, right? Without departed Cruijff and coach Stefan Kovacs Ajax won the European Supercup – the brand new creation, which was to replace the declining Intercontinental Cup. At least this was the idea in 1973. Two-legged challenge between the European Champions Cup winner and the Cup Winners Cup winner. Ajax destroyed Milan and collected the trophy. Best in the world again!
1st Leg, San Siro Stadium, Milan, 9 Jan 1974, att 15000
Milan (0) 1 Ajax (0) 0
77' 1-0 M: Chiarugi
Milan Vecchi, Sabadini, Maldera, Schnellinger, Anquiletti, Turone, Borini (Bergamaschi), Benetti, Biaziolo, Rivera, Chiarugi
Ajax Stuy, Suurbier, Krol, Blankenburg, Hulshoff, G. Mühren, Rep, Neeskens, Mulder, Haan, Keizer
2nd Leg, Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam, 16 Jan 1974, att 25000
Ajax (2) 6 Milan (0) 0
26' 1-0 A: Mulder 35' 2-0 A: Keizer 71' 3-0 A: Neeskens 81' 4-0 A: Rep 84' 5-0 A: Mühren (pen) 87' 6-0 A: Haan
Ajax Stuy, Suurbier, Krol, Blankenburg, Hulshoff, G.Mühren, Rep, Neeskens, Mulder, Haan, Keizer
Milan Vecchi, Sabadini, Maldera, Schnellinger, Anquiletti, Turone, Dolci, Benetti, Biaziolo (Tresoldi), Rivera, Chiarugi
Gianni Rivera ‘teasing’ Dutch defense. Teasing did not work… in the twilight of both clubs Ajax was much better.
Piet Keizer and Barry Hulshoff still supreme and some desperate Italians.
Ajax, dressed in something suspiciously looking like bathrobes, posing with the Supercup. It was a Pyrrhic victory… the matches were played in early January 1874, attendance was low, and Milan played half-heartedly at best. Even then there was strong suspicion that Milan did not care much for this cup and played pro forma only. As for Ajax… they were already destroyed, but the narration of that will go to 1974’s story. Winning the Supercup was not even a swan song… it was a desperate attempt to preserve dignity. To win something…anything. The Supercup never achieved really important status in Europe.