Ajax Amsterdam CEO Edwin van der Sar: ‘We reflected a bit on the old success from 95. We wanted to combine the abundance of young talent with experience.’ Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Last season, as Ajax’s future balanced on a gossamer thread, the club’s hierarchy called in seven of their most talented youngsters for a special talk(...)

Istanbul bonded Rafa Benitez to Liverpool FC, and his activity with the Hillsborough Family Support Group bonded him to the city. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The telephone rang in Freddy Shepherd’s holiday villa in Majorca. It was late July 2004 and Shepherd, the Newcastle United chairman, was about to part(...)

Ajax’ Danish forward Kasper Dolberg during his team’s training session at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Photograph: PA

Marc Overmars knew he was watching something special when he first laid eyes on Kasper Dolberg. Jens Steffensen, a former Denmark international who h(...)

Ajax players celebrate after beating Lyon to reach the Europa League final. Photo: EPA

Dutch giants Ajax will face Manchester United in the Europa League final in Stockholm next week. While the English club have employed a blend of yout(...)

If Andres Iniesta had spent his career in teams that required him to run 50 metres on a regular basis, most of us would never have heard of him. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

In Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football (2000), author David Winner meets the photographer Hans van der Meer, who was known in the (...)

Patrick Kluivert during the European Championships play-off at Anfield in 1995. Holland went on to win the game 2-0. Photograph: Getty Images

Patrick Kluivert remembers both of his goals which crushed Ireland’s hopes of making it to Euro 1996 as though he scored them yesterday. For the fi(...)

Republic of Ireland’s Robbie Keane applauds the fans after losing the European Championship Qualifying match at the National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland. Photograph:  Tony Marshall/PA Wire

The Republic of Ireland will face Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Euro 2016 play-offs. Martin O’Neill’s men missed the chance of automatic qualificat(...)

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini: “In the past I played number 10 and number nine sometimes when I had to help the team,“ he said. “It’s not important where I play, it’s important to win the game.

Louis van Gaal will use Marouane Fellaini as a striker this season and the Manchester United manager believes the erstwhile midfielder can be dange(...)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal waves to the Old Trafford crowd. Photograph: Peter Powell / EPA

We were informed how he walked and where he walked. How he stood and where he stood. We had his facial expressions and the language of his body interp(...)

Richard Dunne: “Retiring from international football has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make.”

After 14 years as Ireland’s last line of defence, Richard Dunne has decided that the time is right to bring down the curtain on his international care(...)

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