AJAX stand between Manchester United and a place in next season’s Champions League but the Dutch outfit have proud record in European finals, winning six of nine.
The Amsterdam giants have lifted the European Cup or Champions League on four occasions, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and Uefa Cup, now Europa League.
It is a record to rival Manchester United’s and one which means Peter Bosz’s team will be no pushovers in Stockholm.
Keep up with the news, build-up and LIVE action in our Europa League final blog
With that in mind we asked Football Whispers to look back at each of Ajax’s European cup finals.
1969 European Cup
Ajax 1-4 Milan
AJAX’S maiden European Cup final was one they would rather forget. Led by Johan Cruyff, Ajax became the first Dutch club to reach the final of the European Cup.
However, de Godenzonen were well beaten at the Bernabeu, going down 4-1. Pierino Prati gave Milan a seventh-minute lead before doubling the Italian’s advantage five minutes before half time.
Ajax, coached by the great Rinus Michels, scored the next goal, Velibor Vasovic converting a penalty on the hour, but it proved to be a consolation only.
Angelo Sormani restored the Rossoneri’s two-goal lead seven minutes later before Prati completed his hat-trick.
1971 European Cup
Ajax 2-0 Panathinaikos
AJAX did not have wait too long to get their hands on European silverware after the disappointment in Madrid. Two years after their first final they were back, beating Greek side Panathinaikos 2-0 at Wembley.
However, Michels’ side were not the first Dutch winners. That honour went to Feyenoord a year earlier following their victory over Celtic.
The Ajax side, now skippered by ‘69 veteran Vasovic, included Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Gerrie Muhren.
Dick van Dijk put the Dutch side ahead after five minutes to settle any nerves before substitute Arrie Haan sealed the club’s first European silverware three minutes from time.
1972 European Cup
Ajax 2-0 Internazionale
TWELVE months later Ajax were in their third European Cup final in four seasons. Italian giants Inter stood in their way with the game played at De Kuip, home of Ajax’s fierce rivals Feyenoord.
Ajax had beaten Dynamo Dresden, Arsenal, Marseille and Benfica en route to the final, conceding just twice, and boasted nine members of the previous season’s success.
This time it was Cruyff’s turn to seal the show, giving the home side the lead two minutes into the second half. And the iconic number 14 clinched the trophy with a second goal in the 78th minute.
1973 European Cup
Ajax 1-0 Juventus
HAVING beaten one of Italy’s biggest clubs the year before Ajax continued their European dominance with a third successive victory in 1973, beating Juventus 1-0.
Played at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade, a third consecutive European Cup meant the trophy was Ajax’s to keep.
Ajax made it to the final by defeating Bayern Munich and Real Madrid while the Old Lady’s path was shrouded in controversy.
Juve beat Brian Clough’s Derby 3-2 in the semi-finals but Helmut Haller accompanied referee Gerhard Schulenburg to his dressing room at half-time leaving Clough fuming.
A fifth-minute goal from Johnny Rep sealed victory in the final for Ajax and was, presumably, of great consolation to a seething Clough.
1987 European Cup Winners’ Cup
Ajax 1-0 Lokomotiv Leipzig
AFTER years in the European wilderness Ajax clinched their first piece of continental silverware since 1973 with a 1-0 win over German side Lokomotiv Leipzig at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
Ajax, now coached by Cruyff, were able to call upon established stars Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Arnold Muhren as well as young buck Dennis Bergkamp who would go on to become an Arsenal legend.
The Dutch side were victorious, van Basten heading home the only goal of the game after 20 minutes.
1988 European Cup Winners’ Cup
Mechelen 1-0 Ajax
LIKE London buses, a second consecutive European final followed after a lengthy drought as Ajax took on Mechelen at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg.
The Dutch outfit reached the final with victories over Dundalk, Marseille and Young Boys where they would face the Belgian minnows.
Coached by Barry Hulshoff, a member of the European Cup-winning sides of ‘71, ‘72 and ‘73, Ajax were beaten by a solitary Piet den Boer goal in the 53rd minute.
1992 Uefa Cup
Ajax 2-2 Torino (Ajax win on away goals)
THE 1980s had not been a glorious period for Ajax in Europe, meaning the Amsterdam club were competing in Uefa’s secondary competition – although it held plenty of prestige.
With the final played over two legs, the first match was held at Juventus’ Stadio Dello Alpi in Turin. Ajax went ahead through Wim Jonk after 17 minutes but Torino equalised in the second half through Walter Casagrande.
Stefan Petterson put the away side back in front from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute but Casagrande ensured the first leg ended level with a second eight minutes from time.
A goalless draw in Amsterdam meant Ajax had their first, and only, Uefa Cup in the bag.
1995 Champions League
Ajax 1-0 Milan
AFTER enjoying such dominance in the early 1970s it took Ajax another 22 years to reach their fifth European Cup final when they meet Milan in 1995.
Ajax had been knocked out in the first round in their three previous attempts and beaten by Clough’s Nottingham Forest in the 1980 semi-finals.
But, at the Ernst-Happel Stadium in Vienna, a great Ajax side triumphed. In the side that day were Edwin van der Sar, Danny Blind, Frank de Boer, Clarence Seedorf, Finidi George, Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Jari Litmanen and Marc Overmars.
Fabio Capello’s Milan boasted Sebastiano Rossi, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marcel Desailly and Zvonimir Boban but lost out to substitute Patrick Kluivert’s 85th-minute winner, handing van Gaal another trophy.
1996 Champions League
Ajax 1-1 Juventus (2-4 on penalties)
UNSURPRISINGLY given the incredible wealth of talent at the club, Ajax returned to defend their crown at the Stadio Olimpico the following season.
It was another meeting of two great sides with de Godenzonen including a young Nwankwo Kanu and naming the previous year’s match-winner Kluivert as a substitute once more.
Juve, under Marcello Lippi, had Didier Deschamps, Antonio Conte, Gianluca Villa, Alessandro Del Piero and Fabrizio Ravanelli.
It was Ravanelli who put the Old Lady ahead after 13 minutes.
Litmanen equalised for Ajax four minutes before half time but the game, and extra time, finished without another goal.
Davids and Sonny Silooy missed their spot kicks and Juve had revenge for 1973.