Joël Veltman (January 15, 1992) began his career at amateur football club VV IJmuiden in his hometown Velsen. In most of the matches in his early football years, he played as a striker. In 2001, at the age of nine, Joël moved to the youth academy of Ajax Amsterdam. He turned into a defender and went through all the youth ranks of Ajax.
In the 2011-2012 season, Joël played in the Under 19 team of Ajax and became Dutch national champion. Joël and his teammates ended second in the NextGen Series, the Champions League equivalent for youth teams. In the meantime, Joël gathered a total of ten caps for the Dutch Under 17 and 19 teams. On February 9, 2011, he made his first goal in the orange jersey. Joël scored against France Under 19 (1-1). One year later, he made his debut in the Holland Under 20 team at the Toulon Tournament (May 2012).
On August 19, 2012, Joël celebrated his official debut for Ajax Amsterdam in the away match against N.E.C. Nijmegen. During that season, Joël reached a total of ten matches for Ajax and won the national title. He extended his contract with Ajax on June 6, 2013 for another four years.
The next season (September 30, 2013), Joël scored his first goal in professional football in the reserve team of Ajax, which acts in the second league (Jupiler League) of Dutch football. His second goal followed in March 2014, when Joël’s header turned out to be the winning goal in ‘the Classic’, the biggest match in Dutch football between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord Rotterdam. In the same season, Joël entered the pitch for European matches against Celtic FC and FC Barcelona. At the end of the year, Joël won his second, consecutive national championship with Ajax.
In the summer of 2014, Joël was one of the squad members of the Dutch national team at the 2014 World Championship in Brazil. The Dutch impressed the world in the opening match with a 5-1 victory over Spain, winner of the World Cup in 2010. Joël was also one of the players acting in the third place play-off against homeland Brazil. The Netherlands won the Bronze Medal with an amazing 3-0 victory.
On November 21, 2015, Joël reached a total of hundred matches for Ajax Amsterdam. In the 2016-2017 season, Joël and his teammates surprised the whole world by reaching the final of the UEFA Europa League. Unfortunately, Manchester United defeated Ajax. Joël is the proud captain of Ajax Amsterdam since the start of the 2017-2018 Dutch Eredivisie campaign.