Louis van Gaal believes his Ajax side were more balanced when Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk. Their departures along with Frank Rijkaard and Jari Litmanen’s arrival were behind the Champions League succes according to the retired coach.

A year after van Gaal’s Ajax had won the UEFA Cup, Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk both left to sign for Internazionale. However, Van Gaal believes their departure helped the balance of their side that would go on to win the Champions League.

He told the Eeen-Tweetje met Yves podcast, “The balance with the two was not ideal. It was only later that everything was so balanced that we could even win the Champions League. Jari Litmanen and Frank Rijkaard were decisive for this. I have not seen a better ten than Litmanen. ”

“With the arrival of Rijkaard and a Finn, Litmanen, from a division where they do not play at the highest level and who had to get used to playing in Ajax 1 for a year, the balance in the team turned out to be much better than with Jonk and Bergkamp. Great players, but they also took their disadvantages with them when they left Ajax.”

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