Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes Ajax are a much more dangerous proposition than in previous seasons.
Real head to the Netherlands to face the Dutch champions on Wednesday in their Group D Champions League clash and Mourinho said he has done plenty of homework on Frank de Boer’s side.
“Instead of playing golf or watching TV, I got a plane, I came here (to Amsterdam), I saw a match,” Mourinho said.
“It’s better live than on a video. You have a completely different perspective, and I’m happy that I came here because I understood that Ajax have changed a few players since last season, but they kept the same philosophy as always.”
The Spanish Champions have won the past four clashes between the sides, all in the Champions League, bagging 12 goals and conceding none during that period.
But Mourinho said their opponents had improved a great deal since the sides last played and were far from being written off in arguably the most difficult group, also containing Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
“They are a team that are prepared to play in the Champions League and they’ll give us a completely different match than they gave us in previous seasons,” he said.
“They’re more counter-attacking than organised attack. I think they feel they had to make a bit of a philosophy change to compete in the Champions League at this level.
“Borussia (Dortmund) is a great team and they (Ajax) played in Dortmund and lost in the last minute.
“They could have won, they could have drawn, so I think at the moment they’re ready to play against (Manchester) City and Dortmund, and fight for a result in every match.”