Wednesday, 27 August 1969, at Stadio Comunale, Juventus and Ajax met for the first time in Turin in what was a friendly match. It was a match of great charm, because the Dutch were already finding their form, even if they were coming into the game off the back of a Champions League final defeat against Milan. Two years later, their supremacy would begin, which would lead them to win three consecutive trophies against Panathinaikos, Inter and Juventus.
Juve-Ajax: the first time in Turin...
40 000 spectators at the end of August, in Turin, at a time of the month when the city was empty, meant that people considered the match a great event that wasn’t to be missed. Even for the match up against the two coaches. The total football of Rinus Michels was already embedded into the Ajax team, while Juventus were coached by Luis Carniglia, who won two Champions League in the previous decade with Alfredo Di Stefano’s Real Madrid team.
Johan Cruyff was only 22 years old and he was yet to be the star who would set alight the next decade of football. But he had already found a way to demonstrate his talent, and it was because of this, that the eyes of the public were focused on him. It wasn’t an easy night for him, however, as he was subjected to the man marking of Luis del Sol. There was a 12 year difference between the Spaniard and the Dutch, therefore, he had more experience – an element that weight heavy in Del Sol’s and the Bianconeri’s favour.
It was Roberto Vieri who carved out the space to see his name printed on the front page. Christian's father, who landed up wearing the shirt of Juventus three decades later, arrived in Turin from Sampdoria and the expectations towards him were high. On that evening, they all seemed well placed. Hurrà Juventus wrote: “Vieri was very useful for the overall manoeuvre. He had a few moments of stagnation but was able to manoeuvre over the entire range of the field, just as he prefers.”
The game came to life in the second half. In the 50th minute, Groot, who came on after the break, put Ajax in the lead. Ten minutes passed and Juve found the equaliser through a conclusion by Vieri, which was deflected off Krol. With only a quarter of an hour remaining in the game, Vieri with a "violent and impregnable effort" turned the scoreline to 2-1. What was different about this game was how Juventus came out of the interval wearing a change of clothes. With Ajax in their traditional uniform, the Old Lady first wore a white shirt, before then switching to wear the striped black and white one.
Images were taken from Hurrà Juventus archives.