Tadic made a transfer from the English Southampton to Ajax in 2018. Together with Daley Blind, the experienced Serb had to lead Erik Ten Hag’s team. His professionalism, winning mentality and technical skills made an impression from day one. Tadic’s debut for Ajax took place on July 25, 2018, in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League against Sturm Graz. Against that same opponent, Tadic scored his first goal in the red and white shirt on August 1, 2018.
Tadic his first season in Amsterdam was an unforgettable year. Ajax won the double and got incredibly close to reaching the Champions League final. Tadic played one of his best European matches against Real Madrid. The incredible top-bin goal while visiting The Whites is etched in the minds of many Ajax supporters. He also proved to be crucial in the Eredivisie. He rose during Ajax’s weakest moments.
In his first season, Tadic scored 38 goals and made 23 assists in 56 matches. One of his most important goals in his debut year in the Eredivisie was, without a doubt, the penalty in the home game against PSV (3-1 win), which caused Ajax to lead in the race for the championship. In his first season, Tadic shared first place as the top scorer of the Eredivisie.
After Matthijs de Ligt’s departure in the summer of 2019, Tadic took the captain’s armband. The Serb lifted the first trophy while wearing the armband quickly. Ajax beat PSV 2-0 in the battle for the Johan Cruijff Shield. The season came to an early end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Tadic played 42 official matches in which he scored sixteen times and gave 21 assists. Ajax was on top of the Dutch league after 25 Eredivisie matches and was awarded a Champions League ticket for the next season.
The 2020/2021 season was another great season for the Serb. Tadic was crowned the Eredivisie MVP for the third time in a row and won the double with Ajax. He played 51 matches and again twenty goals (22) and assists (25) in all competitions combined. He was crowned Dutch Football Player of the Year on May 17, 2021. One of his most beautiful goals of the season was the important 2-2 at home against Feyenoord. The Serb bolted a free kick into the net from a tough angle.
In the last season with Erik ten Hag as coach, Tadic and his teammates went through an amazing group stage in the Champions League. Ajax won all six matches that needed to be played against Sporting CP, Besiktas and Borussia Dortmund. In the round of sixteen, the Ajax players were sadly eliminated by Benfica in the biggest European tournament. Despite the elimination, the Amsterdam-based team continued to perform well. On May 11, 2022, Ajax won the Eredivisie in a match against sc Heerenveen. In 45 matches, the Ajax captain scored 16 goals and made 22 assists. Once more, he was crowned MVP of the Dutch competition.
Despite Tadic not winning any prizes during his last season in Amsterdam, the Serb celebrated personal success. He joined the impressive list of Ajax players that scored more than 100 goals for Ajax. Tadic scored his one-hundredth goal in the match against Sparta Rotterdam, which ended in a 4-0 victory. The away match against FC Twente on August 28 was Tadic’s last match wearing the Ajax shirt. He also scored during his last match and became Eredivisie MVP for the fifth season in a row. In all competitions combined, the 34-year-old Serb played 47 matches in his last season. He scored thirteen goals and made 21 assists. The crowd favourite did not miss a single Eredivisie match since his arrival in 2018.
After five indescribable seasons with Tadic wearing the red-white-red shirt, the Serb’s time in Amsterdam has come to an end. Leadership, reliability and always being in the vanguard of the battle is how one would describe him. The exemplary role that Tadic had, both on and off the pitch, left an ineradicable impression.
Dusan Tadic, an Ajax icon forever.