Ajax, a club which at times has been home to the likes of Johann Cruyff, Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids, is recognised worldwide as one of he most philosophically pure football teams in the world.
Regarded highly for its policy of youth development and its famed academy, the Dutch side has for decades nurtured players that have gone on to be world class, winning trophies across many countries.
However, as is often the case with clubs that develop talent, Ajax has been forced to sell almost all of those prodigies at one point to teams willing and able to offer higher wages and a higher standard of football.
In light of this, we here at TBN Sport have decided to wade back through the Amsterdam club’s transfer history to figure out how the Eredivisie side might line up today if they hadn’t sold their stars and their stars were also all pugs.
A team for the ages
If you would kindly suspend reality in this hypothetical football world for a few moments, Ajax have managed to avoid selling off their best talents who are now also cute little pugs.
This may be because of increased global interest in Dutch football, which in turn has led to higher revenue from television companies.
Regardless of how this has happened, it has. So how would it change things for the historic team?
First off, Ajax’s squad would now be packed to the rafters with pugs who were once incredibly promising young footballers, including the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez.
This veritable smorgasbord of talent would offer many options for their coach, but in terms of formation, the benefits incurred by them retaining this talent would likely be rendered meaningless now that they are all pugs.
Once famed for his technical ability and sharp shooting, midfielder Wesley Sneijder – who in actuality joined Real Madrid from Ajax – would be little more than a furry ball of energy who enjoys long naps, short walks and watermelon.
Ibrahimovic, the near two-metre-tall striker who currently plays with Manchester United and is known for his arrogant yet playful temperament, would have a docile, even clownish personality and be little more than 30 cm in height.
Rather than be famed for his strength and acrobatic goals, he would be associated with drooling, having a wrinkled face, and farting excessively.
The same too goes for Rafael van der Vaart, who enjoyed a successful spell at Tottenham Hotspur. Once renowned for his prowess on the ball, he would be unable to even stand up or, perhaps, even realise what a football truly is.
Overall, while it is fun to hypothesise about different realities and how things could be if they had gone differently, it is worth remembering that pugs cannot play football, regardless of the prestige of the club involved.
They are animals who lack the ability to cogently think in a way which benefits them as a group, rather than individually, which means that even if they were capable of playing the sport, they would be a group of individuals out for themselves, not a team in the truest sense.
In saying that, what they would lack in terms of size, skill, problem-solving and teamwork, they would more than make up for with their charming, animated and playful nature.