By 90Min
April 30, 2019

In a Champions League semi-final that no-one would've predicted at the start of the season, Tottenham host Ajax at their new stadium for the first-leg of the tie this evening.

Both sides have earned their right to reach the last four, with Spurs negotiating a classic quarter-final tie against Premier League rivals Manchester City, while Ajax's fairy tale run has seen them beat holders Real Madrid and one of the favourites this season in Juventus. 

It's a tie that will also see a whole host of players face former clubs, although there's been plenty of players over the years to have donned the colours of both Tottenham and Ajax.

Ahead of the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, here are nine players who have played for both Spurs and Ajax:


Christian Eriksen

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Christian Eriksen has become one of the Premier League's best players during his time at Tottenham, but the silky play and creativity we see from him in the final third time and again for Spurs was undoubtedly forged at Ajax.

Coming through the ranks of the Amsterdam-based club, Eriksen scored 32 goals in 163 games for Ajax in all competitions, helping them win four Eredivise titles and one Dutch Cup before departing for north London in 2013 for £11.5m as one of five players brought in that summer following Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid. 

The 27-year-old has since become a fan favourite at Tottenham, making over 270 appearances for the club across all competitions, with the Dane likely to be a major player for Mauricio Pochettino's side if they're to reach the final at the expense of his former club. 


Jan Vertonghen  

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The second of four current Tottenham players to have played for Ajax earlier in their career, Jan Vertonghen is almost definitely set to play in both legs against his former side.

Like Eriksen, Vertonghen was a product of Ajax's revered academy, coming through the ranks to make 220 appearances for the Dutch side in all competitions, and winning two Eredivise titles and two Dutch Cups during his time there. 

Unlike Eriksen, he left Amsterdam a season earlier in 2012 to move to the Premier League, where he's been plying his trade ever since. The 32-year-old defender has gone on to make over 280 appearances for Spurs during his time in north London and is often referred to as one of the league's top centre-backs. 


Toby Alderweireld 

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Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld appear to be inseparable. They play in the centre of defence for both Tottenham and Belgium, while the pair also began their careers at the famous Dutch club.

Alderweireld rose through Ajax's youth system, went on to win four Eredivise titles, but unlike Vertonghen and Eriksen before him, he left the club in 2013 to join La Liga side Atletico Madrid.

His one season in the Spanish capital saw him win the league title and reach the final of the Champions League, an achievement he's hoping to at least replicate with Spurs or go one better and win the competition.

The 2014/15 season saw him play on loan at Southampton, before finally ending up at Spurs, where's he's been ever since, making 154 appearances for the club. 


Davinson Sanchez 

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The final of four current Tottenham players to have played for Ajax earlier in their career, centre-back Davinson Sanchez is the most recent player to have done so. 

Sanchez only spent one season at Ajax following his move from Atletico Nacional in 2016, although it was a season that saw him reach the final of the Europa League, before losing 2-0 to Manchester United in the final.

That was enough for Pochettino to part with £40m and bring the Colombian defender to Spurs in 2017, with the 22-year-old still being the club's most expensive player. Sanchez has since made 76 appearances and has impressed as part of a back three or when deputising for either Alderweireld or Vertonghen if they're unavailable. 


Rafael van der Vaart

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Rafael van der Vaart is celebrated by both Ajax and Tottenham for fine stints at both clubs during a glittering career that came to an end in 2018.

For Ajax fans, they will remember an upstart attacking midfielder who graduated from their academy and scored 63 goals in 156 appearances for the club, helping them win two Eredivise titles before departing for Hamburg SV in 2008.

Tottenham fans meanwhile will remember the Dutchman as a deadline day purchase made by Harry Redknapp from Real Madrid in 2010, who would go on to enjoy two great seasons at the club - popping up with big goals at vital times. 

Van der Vaart was part of the side that reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2010/11, before returning to Hamburg in 2012 with a record of 28 goals in 77 games for the Lilywhites. 


Edgar Davids 

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Edgar Davids provides yet another link between Ajax and Tottenham, having represented both during his career, although with varying degrees of success. 

For Ajax, the midfielder, famed for wearing goggles, made 183 appearances for the Dutch side across two spells, although his first time at the club saw him lift three Eredivise titles, one Dutch Cup and the Champions League title in 1995. 

After spells at Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Inter, Davids moved to Tottenham on a free transfer in 2005, but his time in north London was heavily hampered by injury, resulting in just 44 appearances over the course of 18 months. 

January 2007 saw Davids return to Ajax, where he won his second Dutch Cup at the end of the campaign, before leaving the club for a second time in 2008. 


Mido 

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A promising young striker in his early career, Mido moved to Ajax in 2001 from KAA Gent, where he won the league and cup double. He spent six months on loan at Celta Vigo before leaving altogether for Marseille in 2003. 

It wasn't until January 2005 that Mido found himself at Tottenham, joining initially on loan from AS Roma until June 2006, before it turned into a permanent move at the end of that season.

The Egyptian would however spend only one further season at Spurs, as a move to Middlesbrough was finalised in 2007, with the Egyptian leaving the north London club with a record of 19 goals in 61 games.

Mido would eventually find himself back at Ajax for a brief spell in 2010, moving back on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, but returned back to his native Egypt just six months later for Zamalek. 


Steven Pienaar

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Perhaps another forgotten player, but Steven Pienaar had spells at both Ajax and Tottenham during his career.

The South African in fact began his footballing career at the Dutch club, making 133 appearances and lifting two Eredivise titles before departing for Borussia Dortmund in 2006. 

His spell at Tottenham didn't come until January 2011, after securing a move from Premier League rivals Everton - which proved to be where he enjoyed his best years in England. 

18 appearances and one solitary goal for Spurs was all that Pienaar could muster before returning to the Toffees a year later, initially on loan, and ended up making his return permanent that summer where he enjoyed an upturn in form. 


Ray Clarke 

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The answer to the quiz question: "Who is the only English player to ever play for Ajax?"

Ray Clarke was however more than just an answer to a quiz question, with the striker beginning his career at Tottenham, before going on to play for Swindon Town, Mansfield Town and Sparta Rotterdam. 

It was then in 1978 that Clark got the chance to join Ajax, and the striker went on to win a league and cup double with the famous club in the 1978/79 campaign - doing so as their top scorer - before he departed for Club Brugge. He left Amsterdam with a record of 38 goals in 43 appearances.

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