1972 Intercontinental Cup

The 1972 Intercontinental Cup was an association football tie held over two legs in September 1972 between the winners of the 1971–72 European Cup, Ajax, and the winners of the 1972 Copa Libertadores, Independiente.

1972 Intercontinental Cup
Intercontinental cup dutch program.jpg
Dutch program
EventIntercontinental Cup
on aggregate
First leg
Date6 September 1972
VenueIndependiente Stadium, Avellaneda
RefereeTofiq Bahramov (Soviet Union)
Second leg
Date28 September 1972
VenueOlympic Stadium, Amsterdam
RefereeJosé Romei (Paraguay)

The first leg was held on 6 September 1972 at Independiente Stadium (La Doble Visera), home of Independiente, and ended in a 1–1 draw, with goals from Johan Cruyff and Francisco Sá. The return leg was held on 28 September 1972 at the Olympic Stadium, which was won by Ajax 3–0. Therefore the Dutch side won their first Intercontinental Cup trophy.[1]

Qualified teamsEdit

Team Qualification Previous finals app.
  Ajax 1971–72 European Cup champion None
  Independiente 1972 Copa Libertadores champion 1964, 1965

Bold indicates winning years


Independiente Stadium in Avellaneda (left) and Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam, venues for the series


The match was notable for being the first and only time Johan Cruyff played in Argentina,[2] as he would not join the trip with the Netherlands national team to the 1978 FIFA World Cup where the Dutch team reached the final.[3] Ajax arrived in Argentina bringing their own cook and food. Some Dutch supporters had previously arrived not only to watch the match but on a tourist trip to known Buenos Aires sites.[2]

Cruyff, injured after a tackle by Mircoli, is taken out the field

The early goal by Cruyff (who might have fouled Independiente defender Miguel Angel López and or might have been fouled by Miguel Angel López before scoring) dictated the direction of the match. Since that, Independiente's style of play turned towards toughness to stop Ajax players. As a result, Cruyff had to leave the field after a hard tackle by defender Dante Mírcoli.[3] At the end of the first half, the Ajax players were so angry at Independiente players' violence that they refused to take to the field for the second half. Their coach Ștefan Kovács had to implore them to play on.[4]

After the match, the Ajax players complained about the violence shown by their rivals. Forward Sjaak Swart defined rival defender Ricardo Pavoni as "a gangster", also stating "he believes he is Carlos Monzón" to describe the Uruguayan's stiffness. In the same line, Ajax manager Kovacs added his testimony saying: "This was not football but war.... In Amsterdam, Independiente will have serious troubles. One of them, our magnificent pitch so they are not used to play on those surfaces. This pitch (Independiente Stadium) is not suitable to play football"[2]

Some football personalities attended the match in Avellaneda, being president of Real Madrid CF Santiago Bernabéu one of the most notable visitors. Once the match ended, Bernabéu said:

Independiente was in control of the game in the second half, and I don't understand how they did not realise the short height of their players affected them to compete against the Dutch players. They are prepared for those emergencies and closed files to resist Independiente's attack. The local team lacked the time and luck to win.[2]

In the second leg held in Amsterdam, Ajax made a great performance,[4] showing all their virtues to easily defeat Independiente 3–0,[2] threfore winning their first Intercontinental trophy 2–1 on points (4–1 on aggregate).[1]

Match detailsEdit

First legEdit

First leg
Independiente  1–1  Ajax

Second legEdit

Match detailsEdit

Second leg
Ajax  3–0  Independiente
Attendance: 46,511
Referee: José Romei (Paraguay)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b 1972 Intercontinental Cup at the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
  2. ^ a b c d e Una luz en el iosenfierno by Pablo Bomarito on El Gráfico, 6 Sep 2020
  3. ^ a b La única vez de Cruyff en Argentina, lo molieron a patadas on Infobae, 15 Sep 2013
  4. ^ a b Intercontinental Cup 1972 on FIFA.com (archived, October 2007)
  5. ^ "Independiente v Ajax, 6 September 1972". UEFA.com. Retrieved 22 November 2020.