Football: Kluivert Junior follows dad's footsteps at Ajax

Amsterdam's Justin Kluivert (centre) and Bertrand Traore (left) in action during the Uefa Europa League quarter final, second leg soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Ajax Amsterdam, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on April 20, 2017.
Amsterdam's Justin Kluivert (centre) and Bertrand Traore (left) in action during the Uefa Europa League quarter final, second leg soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Ajax Amsterdam, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on April 20, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

Amsterdam (AFP) - More than 20 years after the football world witnessed Patrick Kluivert lead Ajax to Champions League glory, his son Justin is bidding to help the Dutch giants into the Europa League final.

Justin, 17, is turning heads in the Ajax red and white and some say he is even more skillful than the father, who went on to enjoy a top-level career with AC Milan and Barcelona and who is now sports director at Paris Saint-Germain.

"I like it when I am compared to my dad. He had a great career, and I hope to have one too," Justin told football magazine FourFourTwo recently.

The father was more of a penalty area predator and a real No. 9.

"He possesses speed and courage, and knows how to pass," former Ajax great Sjaak Swart said of the younger Kluivert last month. "It's hard to believe that he's just 17."

Justin - the second of four sons - made his Ajax debut in January 2017 and has since played in the right wing slot of the classic Ajax 4-3-3 formation.

There was a wave of nostalgia in the Netherlands in March when he scored his first top-flight goal 10 years to the day after his father's final strike as a professional with Lille.

Given his background, fans will be hoping he can do something in the Europa League against Lyon in their semi-final first-leg on Wednesday.