De Boer wants Ajax to improve their showing in Europe

Ajax coach Frank de Boer set his sights on improving the Dutch giant’s imageshowing in Europe after leading them to a third successive Eredivisie title.

The Amsterdam outfit were crowned champions with a game to spare after thrashing Willem II 5-0 on Sunday with goals from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Christian Eriksen, Viktor Fischer, Siem De Jong and Danny Hoesen.

That was Ajax’s 32nd Eredivisie crown -11 more than the next-best team, PSV Eindhoven – and further established them as the dominant force in Holland.

It has not been a similar story in recent times in Europe though, with the club not having reached the quarter-finals of a continental tournament since 2003 – a poor showing for a side who had previously won the European Cup four times in their history.

That disappointing return is something De Boer is hoping to change.

Talking about his future ambitions, he said: “We want to move forward in Europe, and play attractive football. If we succeed in this, I’m convinced we can achieve something.”

De Boer insisted they would not break the bank to bring continental success though, adding: “We don’t pay absurd amounts.”

The former Holland international this weekend became only the third man to lead Ajax to a successive hat-trick of Eredivisie crowns.

Rinus Michels (1966/67/68) and Louis van Gaal (1994/95/96) are the only other two Ajax managers to seal three consecutive league titles.

The 42-year-old De Boer also has the honour of becoming the first player to win the league title three consecutive times with Ajax and then repeat the feat as a manager.

De Boer said of this year’s triumph on his club’s website: “This is a team effort. Football is a team sport, not an individual sport. Our strength is that we are not dependent on one person.

“We have gone through this season consistently playing our game, we’ve never dropped our standards. We’ve always played in a dominant fashion. It was a steady performance curve and that’s also a compliment to the coaching staff.

“We are getting to know better what is expected and that we can always rely on our system.”

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