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Forget The Drake Curse, Ajax's 'Champions League' Curse Has Hit A Number Of Manager

Forget The Drake Curse, Ajax's 'Champions League' Curse Has Hit A Number Of Manager

Mauricio Pochettino's sacking at Tottenham Hotspur has made him the newest victim of the 'Ajax Curse'.

Ajax made it to the semi-final of the Champions League last season and every team they faced along the way has replaced their coach.

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'The Drake Curse' is in reference to whenever the Canadian rapper backs a football team they tend to lose.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Ajax's group stage opponents AEK Athens, Benfica and Bayern Munich all have new managers.

Knockout stage opponents Juventus, Real Madrid and now Spurs have also had a change in stewardship.

The first manager to depart was Benfica's Rui Vitoria who left the Portuguese giants in January 2019.

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He would be followed by AEK Athens' Marios Ouzounidis a month later.

His successor, a returning Manolo Jimenez only to last less than four months in the role himself.

Real Madrid sacked Santiago Solari after their humiliating exit and replace him with Zinedine Zidane.

Solari saw his tenure as Real Madrid boss end after the Ajax defeat. (Image Credit: PA)
Solari saw his tenure as Real Madrid boss end after the Ajax defeat. (Image Credit: PA)

The Frenchman was their third coach of the 2018/2019 season after Julen Lopetegui's October sacking.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri ended his five year stay in Turin at the end of last season which only left Niko Kovac at Bayern and Pochettino respectively.

Kovac's reign at Bayern ended after a 5-1 thumping to Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this month.

Pochettino was the last man standing for just over two weeks before his Spurs farewell earlier this week.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Erik Ten Hag's Ajax side had a phenomenal run in last year's Champions League and claimed the scalps of Europe's elite with relative ease.

They progressed as Group E runners-up behind Bayern and met Madrid in the round of 16.

They lost 2-1 in Amsterdam but whooped Los Blancos 4-1 at the Bernabeu to advance to the quarter-finals.

Former Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt celebrates their victory over Juventus. Image Credit: PA
Former Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt celebrates their victory over Juventus. Image Credit: PA

A 3-2 aggregate victory over Juventus saw them come face to face with Spurs to see who would face eventual winners Liverpool in the final.

A stunningly late Lucas Moura hat-trick broke Ajax hearts who were inches away from a first Champions League final since 1996.

They may not have ended the season as champions of Europe but their squad attracted a lot of attention.

Ajax's line-up for their second leg tie against Spurs last season. (Image Credit: PA)
Ajax's line-up for their second leg tie against Spurs last season. (Image Credit: PA)

Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt earned big money moves to Barcelona and Juventus respectively after impressive performances.

Whereas attackers such as Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech also earned praise for their quality going forward which saw Ajax score 22 goals in the competition.

They've started this season in similar goal scoring form with a 4-4 draw to Chelsea standing out in the last match day.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Tottenham Hotspur, Football, Mauricio Pochettino, Ajax, Champions League

Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelancer journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports but specialises in football & wrestling. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. Shockingly, he lived to tell the tale.

 

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