Ajax, 1972 European Cup Final
Coach: Rinus Michels, Stefan Kovacs
Achievements: European Cup 1971, 72, 73
Key Players: Cruyff, Neeskens, Haan, Krol
Star Player: Cruyff
This side changed football. Rinus Michels, with the help of the brilliant on-field orchestrator Johann Cruyff, developed the famous Total Football system with this Ajax side. Players interchanged positions, pressed the opposition and supported each other in an exciting fluid foootball style. It took the team to three consecutive European Cups. Michels then left to coach the Dutch national team, where he used the same system and the same core players. Cruyff would leave for Barcelona where as player, and later coach, he would transfer a similar system to the club, which it remains a default Barca template. Although no team interchanges in the same way that this Ajax team did (it requires enormous technique, fitness and tactical awareness), it nevertheless changed the way that all teams approach the game to this day.