Top 5: Ajax academy graduates
Ajax have produced a whole host of world-class players - here's a look at five current stars who flourished at the Amsterdam Arena
Ajax have a history of producing world-class players, such as Edwin van der Sar and Marco van Basten.
These are our top five players to have passed through the Amsterdam Arena at some stage of their career.
5. Steven Pienaar | Everton
A talented player, the South African came to the Ajax first-team in 2001. He became an important component in a successful side that won Eredivisie from 2002 to 2004.
During that time, Pienaar shone as one of Ajax's best players among a group of world-class talent such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael van der Vaart.
He's been brilliant for Everton so far, forming a formidable partnership with England international Leighton Baines down the left-hand flank.
4. Christian Eriksen | Ajax
A young player with a lot of potential, Eriksen certainly has a bright future ahead of him.
Originally hailing from Odense Boldklub (OB), Eriksen moved to Ajax in 2008.
Having worked his way through the youth teams and cemented his place in the first-team squad, Eriksen has gone from strength to strength.
He was part of the team that held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw last year, playing a key role for an Ajax side cost less in total than each of City's individual players.
Having helped Ajax win Eredivisie and after being named Danish Player of the Year, Eriksen is expected to go on to bigger and better things - it's only a matter of time before he's snapped up by one of Europe's elite.
3. Wesley Sneijder | Galatasaray
After a disappointing season with Inter and a well publicised contract dispute, Sneijder moved to Galatasaray in the January transfer window.
A brilliant passer of the ball with a good eye for goal, he should prove he's a quality player at the Turkish club. We know he is capable of brilliant performances, as seen when he played for Real Madrid and Inter, and he's sure to produce some good results for the Turkish side.
2. Rafael van der Vaart | Hamburg SV
An impressive couple of seasons for Van der Vaart at Totttenham won the Dutch international many fans and plaudits. After impressive seasons with Ajax and Real Madrid, 'VDV' returned to Hamburg, the club he represented between 2005 to 2008.
Yet another talented player to emerge from the famous academy who would've taken top spot, if it wasn't for the world-class ability of a controversial Uruguayan.
1. Luis Suarez | Liverpool
Hailed by some, despised by others - whether you love him or hate him there's no denying the fact that he's one of, if not, the best player to be wearing a Liverpool strip this season.
He may not have necessarily started his career at Ajax and come through their academy, but there's no doubt Ajax made him into the player he is today.
As stated on his official website: "Luis’ talent caught the eye and admiration of many European clubs and after a season at Groningen, Ajax fought for him. After a long negotiation in the 2007/2008 season, he signed for €7.5m until 2012/2013."
Former coach Van Basten recognised Suarez's potential and it was at Ajax where he flourished.
At only 20 years of age, he was part on one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe where he scored 100 goals in three seasons, going on to become club captain.
Since arriving at Anfield, Suarez has carried Liverpool, particularly through the league campaign this season, but with the arrivals of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho that burden is starting to ease.
He's an exciting player and even his biggest critics would struggle to deny that on current form, he's one of the best in the world.
So do you agree? Who would make your top five? Leave a comment and let us know.
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