Real Madrid’s European reign is over.
After winning the Champions League three years in a row, Real hadn’t been knocked out of the competition since May 2015.
That incredible record seemed likely to continue after Santiago Solari’s side beat Ajax 2-1 in Amsterdam in the first leg of their last-16 clash a fortnight ago.
But their advantage disappeared within 18 minutes.
First, Hakim Ziyech had given Ajax a seventh-minute lead to level the goals on aggregate.
Ajax still trailed on away goals, though.
But just 11 minutes later, they took control of the tie.
Dusan Tadic did brilliantly to set up David Neres, who made it 2-0 on the night.
When Tadic made it 4-2 on aggregate with half an hour remaining, it was game over.
Marco Asensio may have pulled a goal back but Lasse Schone’s stunning free-kick sealed the tie.
It was an incredible performance from this young Ajax side with Dusan Tadic the star of the show - with two assists and a fantastic goal of his own.
However, there was another player that also caught the eye.
Barcelona fans would no doubt have been watching Frankie de Jong very closely at the Bernabeu.
The 21-year-old has already agreed a £65 million deal to sign for Barca and produced a brilliant performance up against Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.
THE WORLD MEDIA WERE IMPRESSED
And it’s fair to say the world media were impressed with his display.
Let’s take a look at what some of them, said following Ajax’s 4-1 victory over Real.
L’Equipe: "The future Barcelona player, De Jong lost very few balls. Captain De Ligt, 19, is also expected in Catalonia. He has shown once again that he was one of the most promising defenders in the world.”
France Football: "Maybe Dusan Tadic was playing the game of his life. Maybe Frenkie de Jong wanted to destroy the Real as a future Blaugran. In any case, these players (in addition to Lasse Schone and Donny Van De Beek) scandalously dominated the midfield.”
Gazzetta dello Sport: "The Catalan De Jong. Frankie was born in football for Willem II and then grew up in Ajax, a crystalline talent with a great vision of the game and a progression that alerted Barcelona: the Blaugrana have signed him for the next season by paying him around 75 million of euros. He promised to eliminate Real with his new team, and he succeeded: the best business card to land at the Camp Nou.”
Marca: "With the ball, De Jong imposed his skill. The way he manages space is brilliant. The young 'ajacied' broke Real's dynasty with a young and cheeky team, which probably does not win the title, but which renews the competition with its cheerful and energetic style. They are a model even for more powerful clubs and with better players like Barcelona."
AS: "The engine of Ajax was a puppet, a hysterical team, overflowed at the back by diagonal balls in depth and by the genius of Tadic...surpassed by the movement of De Jong, Schöne and Van de Beek in the centre."
Voetball: "It was amazing how Frenkie de Jong played against Luka Modric. Ajax follows in Barcelona's footsteps."News Now - Sport News