Feyenoord, finally…. Champions!

Wow guys, I needed a couple of days to emerge again after the celebrations….

“It was 20 years ago today…”, The Beatles said, but it was actually 18 years and 9 days…

The desire and shear need to win the title was humungous in Rotterdam. Once, one of the richest clubs in the world. The first European Cup winner of the country. For decades, the biggest football temple of the country. The largest fanbase and most widely supported Dutch club, with one of the world’s best pitches…

But no title for 18 years! That hurt, in Rotterdam. Traditionally, it was always between Ajax and Feyenoord. In the late 1970s, PSV joined in and the Eindhoven club eclipsed Feyenoord for years.
Ajax has the most titles, that tremendous academy, the most European trophies, produced the likes of Cruyff, Keizer, Van Basten, Bergkamp, Krol, Kluivert and Van der Vaart, but their Hollywood vibe and their Amsterdam arrogance never pushed them to the position of the people’s favorite.

fan rolstoel

The last 20 years, Feyenoord had its last European success in 2002 under Van Marwijk. Since then, they only won the National Cup twice (2008 and 2016). As a result of consistent financial and technical mismanagement and high risk taking, Feyenoord was almost bankrupt in the mid 00s. A last ditch financial injection by the Friends of Feyenoord rescued the club and with a license losing threat above their heads the likes of Leo Beenhakker, Mario Been and later Ronald Koeman and Martin van Geel worked to turn that beat around.


After having to try and boost the club forward with some older big name players (Van Bronckhorst’s return, Makaay, Hofland), Feyenoord had to resort back to using talent from Varkenoord to survive. Young lads like Wijnaldum, Fer, Biseswar, Martins Indi and De Vrij Feyenoord battled with ups and downs, the infamous 10-0 trashing in Eindhoven being the lowest down of all. Slowly, Feyenoord managed to dig themselves out of a hole, using the money of the sell-out of Wijnaldum and Fer and using smartly scouted loan players and question marks (Guidetti, De Guzman, Pelle, Janmaat, Vermeer, Van der Heijden, Berghuis).


As big bonus, Feyenoord gets to play Champions League football again. This will result in a financial bonus of at least 20 million euros. Still, very needed as Ajax and PSV both have budgets at least 20 million above Feyenoord. The last time Feyenoord played CL football was in 2002/2003 when they competed with Juve, Newcastle United and Dynamo Kiev. And finished fourth in the group.

League leaders since day 1
Feyenoord dominated the Eredivisie from start to finish. The team was number one for 277 days on end. In 61 years Eredivisie, only AZ led longer in days, in the 1980/81 season. Feyenoord is the first team to be league leader in every week match week since Ajax in 11997/98.

fey bad bubbles

Defeat against relegation club
Feyenoord 2017 is the second club to win the title after losing against the club that would get relegated. In 1964, it was Feyenoord managing the same feat, versus NAC.

Kuyt kind

Experienced titlewinners
The starting eleven of Feyenoord was just short of 28 years old on average. Feyenoord was only older in the 1989/90 season. Only two champs managed to field and older team: PSV in 1991/92 and DOS in 1957/58. Brad Jones and Dirk Kuyt pushed the average up for Feyenoord.

berghuis fans

1-0 guaranteed the win
Dirk Kuyt scored the opener vs Heracles after 43 seconds. Which meant the game was played. Feyenoord was the only club this season to never drop points after being 1-0 up. They won 23 games after scoring first. Feyenoord won 26 of the 34 matches. The club record is 27 matches, reached back in 1972/73.

dirk 10

Ajax hangs in to the end
The last 5 times that the gap between champions and runner up was only 1 point, Ajax was always the number two.


Botteghin plays every minute
Eric Botteghin, the Brazilian defender who came to Feyenoord via FC Groningen played every minute this season: 3060 minutes. He is the first Feyenoord player to achieve this since the season 1970/71, when Eddy Treijtel and Wim Jansen did the same.


Only Cruyff older than Kuyt
The 36 year old Kuyt is the second oldest player to win the title with Feyenoord. The oldest champion was Johan Cruyff, 37 years old. This is Kuyt’s first title in The Netherlands, while Cruyff won eight titles before, with Ajax. Only goalies Pim Doesburg (43), Sander Boschker (39) and midfielder Leo van Veen (36) were older than Kuyt, when winning their titles.

JC champ

Hattrick in championship match
Dirk Kuyt is the first player to score a hattrick in the championsmatch, since Arnold Bruggink who did this in 2000, when he scored three for PSV vs FC Twente.


Van Bronckhorst youngest champion coach.
Feyenoord won the title 15 times in Holland. Five times before the second world war and ten times since. All ten titles were won by ten different coaches. Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the youngest of them all, at 42 years and 98 days.

gio jonas

Jørgensen in footsteps Ove Kindvall
Feyenoord won the title and Nicolai Jorgensen won the golden boot (21 goals). The last time that Feyenoord won it and produced the top scorer was in 1970/71, when Swedish striker Over Kindvall found the net 24 times. The 26 year old Jorgensen is the first Danish player to win the golden boot and the oldest top scorer of the Eredivisie since Pierre van Hooijdonk (32 years old) in 2001/02. Jorgensen is also the most valuable pplayer (MVP) with 13 assists on top of the 21 goals.


This title couldn’t come soon enough for Feyenoord. The club needed it and the loyal fans deserved it.

Feyenoord was consistent, solid and clearly worked with one goal in mind. The team members operated close and as friends, supporting each other when times were rough (injuries Vermeer, Kongolo, the death of Vilhena’s mum). It takes a good goalie and a good striker to win trophies, they say. Brad Jones was a lucky, when Vermeer got injured, Feyenoord needed something. Kuyt remembered his old team mate from Liverpool and tipped Martin van Geel. Similarly, Kuyt met Berghuis this summer and simply said: you should be playing more. Why not come to Feyenoord? And it clicked. Jens Toornstra had his best season ever, Jan Arie van der Heijden, the Ajax reject, had a rough start but became a cult hero and Karsdorp and Kongolo are developing into European top defenders. Dirk Kuyt might have been captain of this team, the real leader on the pitch in football terms was El Ahmadi. The former Twente prospect is the metronome in midfield, with strong challenges and pinpoint positioning play. When King Karim starts the press, the whole team responds.

dirk shcaal

Will they manage to defend the title next season? Will they be able to make an impression in the Champions League? It depends, on who will go and who will come…

Some issues:
– Kuyt might retire, he’s not clear yet
– Berghuis might be called back by Watford
– Elia says he wants to make one more big move
– Jorgensen is on many a scout’s list
– Karsdorp same
– Kongolo appears to be fragile and injury prone
– Brad Jones will have to make way for Ken Vermeer

schaal veld

Surely, if a player like Jorgensen goes, he’ll cost at least 20 mio euros. That money can be spent on new players, plural. With Ricky van Wolfswinkel a serious candidate for the striker position.

Jean Paul Boetius, developed at Feyenoord, might be brought back in from the cold and Amrabat of FC Utrecht is high on the list to be signed as well… Time will tell if Feyenoord is able to make that step up. Getting to the top is one thing, staying there is another… Next post will be on Ajax!

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  1. Congrats Jan it is good to see Feyenord winning the title. They’ve done it right this time and I didn’t think Gio would make it as a coach but he has just shut my mouth. He has done a fantastic job I was watching Feyenord’s celebrations and they seem to love Gio.

    Maybe another potential coach for the future of Oranje?…

  2. Elia should stay for at least one more year. He hasn’t had any luck in foreign clubs so why not enjoy the UCL with Feyenord?.

    Also they might even make some surprise additions to the club…RVP? Lens? Van Wolfswinkel? I just hope Feyenord and Ajax can compete in next season’s UCL.

  3. Congratulations Jan and Feyenoord on a well deserved victory!

    What is the saying — 18% of the Netherlands is covered by water and the rest is covered by Dirk Kuyt 🙂

  4. Another 90′ for Promes and another goal 👍
    I guess one could say he cannot stop scoring in Russia.. 😉
    Also got a yellow for his excessive celebration..

    Clasie on the bench for Southampton hosting Man Utd who have no Dutchmen in their squad tonight as Blind gets a deserved rest.

    Nice to see that de Vrij starts again for Lazio v Juve today, unfortunately it means back to the bench for Hoedt who seems to have lost his starting spot when others’ are fit..

  5. It seems that my latest Dutch adventure may get started slightly sooner than anticipated — I hate penalties, especially 26 of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Where is Edwin van der Sar when you need him?!

  6. Hot news: Dirk Kuyt announced his retirement. Dirk will remain at Feyenoord and will assist technical director Martin van Geel in his tasks with the aim to one day succeed Van Geel as TD of Feyenoord.

  7. We’ll honour him with a dedicated post soon. I would like to ask all of you to write a little “testimonial” for Dirk? Incl Tiju and Wilson?

    1. Jan I think I have already done that.

      I think Feyenoord should be more concerned about karim El Ahmadi
      departure if any at this point in time because he has been a the back bone for feyenoord this season and his departure will definitely be a big blow for them especially when you consider his contributton from that DM for feyenooRd and also considering that they will be in champions league.

  8. I guess I will lead off with testimonials…

    To understand Dirk Kuyt as a footballer, you need only look at what he did for the national team in the recent World Cups.

    In 2010, he started on the right, then at forward and against Brazil on the left. Not only did he keep Maicon out of the game, he also set up the winner. Someone like that is worth his weight in gold.

    Four year later, he took a similar positional journey, but all in one match against Mexico. In his 100th cap, he started at left-wingback, switched to the right, shifted forward to striker and ended the game as a right back. You’re blessed when you’ve got someone like Kuyt. Tactically you can go in all directions with him

    And, as Jan pointed out, he is the second oldest player to win the title for Feyenoord.

    For me (other than myself), Dirk Kuyt is the personification of Total Football.

  9. Hendrik, it’s nice that you recognize my innovation at last!

    As you all may recall, I made Dirk the vice-captain behind Wesley Sneijder when I took over the national team. But then I did not play him for extended periods. He ultimately played 12 matches for me and scored 0 goals — although he does make his penalties! Dirk Kuyt makes 80% of his penalties! If only Vlaar and Sneijder…..Why did I have to sign Romero at AZ?……Why did I believe that 0-for-18 Cillessen was actually average at stopping penalties due to the Bonferroni correction?……Why didn’t I just substitute Krul straight up for van Persie?…… AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At any rate, Dirk Kuyt became a hero to the Dutch fans because I provided him the opportunity to demonstrate his versatility and work ethic.

    In fact, Dirk referred to me as “the best tactically there is in the world. It doesn’t matter what system we are playing the players know exactly what to do. His tactics are always spot on.” Someone with such clarity and understanding of my innate abilities is certainly worthy of the highest praise!

    I definitely should have signed him for United rather than that disaster Di Maria, who was upset because he was being played “out of position”… Tell that to Dirk Kuyt!

    Dirk, ik heb altijd van je gehouden!

  10. Aloysius, do not speak to me of penalties after last night’s match vs İstanbul Başakşehir – 26 kicks total and we missed 4 of our 13! Thankfully, I will be leaving Turkey and moving on in my role as bondscoach very soon.

    As for Dirk Kuyt, he and I have somewhat of a kinship. We both played at FC Utrecht, although many years apart.
    Additionally, I gave him his first call up to the national team along with Wesley Sneijder in 2003 (although Kuyt did not make the final 2004 squad).

    Last year, I counseled him when I served as technical staff adviseur to Gio at Feyenoord (which I mistakenly omitted from my earlier CV but should definitely include now that Feyenoord has won the title! – You’re welcome Gio! I must have forgotten because they didn’t pay me – another mistake!)

    And most recently, although we did not directly overlap there, Dirk helped me with my current position at Fenerbahçe, by convincing my wife that it was safe to move to Turkey. He is a very nice man with a lovely head of hair!

    Looking ahead, we will likely need four wins to qualify for the World Cup – Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Belarus and Sweden.
    Fortunately, after my commitments in Turkey conclude, I will have almost 5 full days with the team prior to the Luxembourg game! A Fenerbahçe – based Lens / Van Persie partnership up top should likely do the trick, don’t you think?

  11. Dirk Kuyt will be missed. He was a player with a huge winning mentality he was similar to Davids with his attitude to fight every single ball. He was amazing in our 2 last World Cups.

    I am Mexican and believe it or not I was supporting the Netherlands in that game…even my friends said I am a traitor but what can I say I love Oranje. When Kuyt started running the wing up and down during the second half of that game I was really impressed he was outstanding!!!. He will certainly be missed he was even smart to know when to retire…as champion of Feyenord his whole life dream.

  12. GK: Sergio Padt (FC Groningen), Jeroen Zoet (PSV), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona).

    Defenders: Nathan Aké (Chelsea), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Wesley Hoedt, Stefan de Vrij (beiden Lazio), Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City), Matthijs de Ligt, Kenny Tete, Joël Veltman, Nick Viergever (allen Ajax).

    Marco van Ginkel, Davy Pröpper, Bart Ramselaar (allen PSV), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Kevin Strootman (AS Roma), Jens Toornstra, Tonny Vilhena (beiden Feyenoord), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

    Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Bas Dost (Sporting Portugal), Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur), Jeremain Lens (Fenerbahçe), Jürgen Locadia (PSV), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskou), Arjen Robben (Bayern München).

    1. Mr. Wilson:

      Thank you for posting my provisional squad! However, I’ve already discovered an error. Ruud is already not paying close enough attention!

      My notes clearly said “Monitor BMI”, meaning body mass index, not Bruno Martins Indi.

      Bruno Martins Indi couldn’t defend a forward with the maneuverability of a garden gnome.

      He gets more cards than the woman who lives in the shoe on mother’s day!

      How could he possibly be considered for international duty?!

  13. ——————–Zoet—————-




    1. Señor Rosado:

      At the moment, the answers to your questions marks are Sneijder and Lens.

      However, I have other question marks where you have answers.

      We will see…

      1. miguel, what have been watching all this time. again strootman at DM and Wijnaldum out of position. wasnt this a feature of Dannys selection in the midfield with no chemistry at all.

    2. As much as i like Wijnaldum i would never go with Strootman and Gini at midfeild when ever we played them together we lacked creativity, and strootman especially looked bad.
      I want Gini to be the captain not strootman..Strootman was really disappointing in all those games played recently.
      We must Find a real DM who can anticipate and break legs of opponent(Ake would be class there,De roon would be a legbreaker there)…
      Gini is very popular in pool
      Why karsdorp and kongolo is not there.they are champions and are they injured?

  14. There is no need to worry about El Ahmadi leaving.

    He returned from two spells abroad. He played in the Middle East for lots of money and Cannavaro told him to get his ass back to Europe (and he did) and he also left the EPL because his family missed Holland.

    He’s now 30+ and won’t go on an adventure anymore. He’s cashed up and very happy in Rotterdam.

    Jorgensen might be sold, if a good offer comes in.

    Brad Jones will most likely move on as Ken Vermeer is fit again and Karsdorp, despite signing a new deal, might leave if a big offer comes in.

    Most other players (Elia, Kongolo) will stay.

    Elia wants to leave.

    Berghuis wants to stay, but it’s up to Watford in his case.

  15. My Testimonial for kuyt..
    Infact i was expecting a lot from him and newcomers and vanbasten from 2004 onwards.kuyt really disappointed me with poor finish and skills vs portugal in 2006.i know everyone misses opportunity,but in that game he made me feel that he cannot dribble past anyone and score a goal 1 on 1.I was angry for RVN dropped for kuyt..then i never liked his presense upfront there on by the cost of RVN,Vaart and Hunter..i knew that brazilians wont respect him in 2010 as bastos stayed back to keep Roben in check.other wingback Maicon was free to bomb from that side poor kuyt had to defend all the time instead of causing maicon to defend him,kuyt was defending him.His back passes always annoyed me teh most,wheneevr holland made a move through wing it finished with kuyt..that was most annoying part.Anyways those days are over and now we have some real craps upfront.So kuyt was far better than current one playing there except Roben and Janssen.
    lets go other side.
    i did knew that he was a workhorse and a brilliant teamplayer.has A NEVER GIVE UP attitude ,i think that quality is rare,i mean very rare.
    But the scenario changed for me after the arrival of LVG and kuyt started playing more in defensive minded role.only played up when other players were absent..kuyt was instrumental in 2014WC.He covered poor and pathetic BMI.that was awesome world up of compact defense of kuyt-Blind-Vlaar-Devrij-janmaat-wijnaldum-Dejong with them RVP+Roben+Sneijder lead up front…if not the masherano tackle kuyt would have had a WC in 2014..

  16. @Emmanual: Actually you are right about Karsdorp over Tete and about Strootman he has to start delivering or else he needs to go to the bench. Maybe we need to play 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 with a complete different system to make our midfield stronger.

    1. Strootman is not an ideal DM..he is more box to box type…like Vanginkel…Gini is also in same boat…Gini has an outstanding ball control and it is impossible to get ball from him..but he lacks vision…Bazoer is better talent than strootman and klassen…Bazoer is regular at wolfsburg..he is a scorrer to like distance strikeer snijder.
      Why the hell there is no annholt???
      i would go with team of

  17. clasie is a suprise ommission for me. I don’t think he is injured either as he played full 90 vs middlesborough before last week and was on the bench vs man united. easily above Propper and Klaassen imo at NT level.

    same goes for Riedewald over Viergever

    1. Clasie was not playing regular for many game,always kept on bench while propper has scored some goals,i am still pissed about the crap game he played vs France..
      Veirgiver is regular at Ajax Raidwald is not..
      Injustice to
      Bazoer regular at wolfsburg
      Annholt regular at crystal palace..

      1. then why janssen is there. Propper is not a NT material.if not for van ginkels arrival PSV would have suffocated especially in the midfield.at best he might be good vs teams like Luxembourg and Belarus.

        1. Janssen is the only striker we have…agree propper should not be there at any cost what to do i didnt select him..
          For me strikres are
          Janssen,Locadia and Babel…i would not waste a single minute with Dost or Luuk..propper etc..

          1. That’s it!

            Vincent Jannssen was just chosen flop of the year (together with David Moyes) of the English Premier league.

            He scored only one goal in the league game (the others were penalties).

            Totenham hotspurs had been scoring 13 goals in two games. and Jannssen wasn’t able to score a single again.

            Such a total failure ~

  18. We’ll Done Feyenoord, congrats on a fantastic season your fans deserve it (Jan)!
    As for Dirk , I have many fond memories both for Holland and when playing for Liverpool ( I didn’t get to see any Feyenoord games this season). He epitomises hard work and will to win, he is an outstanding example for young players to mold their work ethic on.
    It’s easy to forget how many crucial goals he scored for Liverpool which turned matches for them. He will always be respected in the world of football!

  19. Hats off to our Gini boy…..where Depay flopped,Gini became star…HE DESERVES TO LEAD NT…..Much more deserved candidate for captaincy than Strootman.
    He made PSV champion then he went to play in bottom team..where he stood alone like one man show fight for Mewcastle..Now he is back in CL with liverpool under a superbfootballing coach..
    Hats off Giniboy………

  20. Good post Jan.Its been a few years since I have posted. It is great to see Feyenoord win the title. Keep us posted on signing rumours in the off season. I hope we can make some noise in the Champions league next season.

    1. @Wilson…there are some facts in that.Jose maurihno is an AS@###hole manger…a glory hunter….He knew that Mensah is really good at RB,LB,RCB,LCB and DM..or else he would have kicked him out of team like he did to depay and many…
      Unfortunatly for Crystal palace they had to face a young energetic Manu..Coz jose already out of 4 th spot so gave chance to youngsters..Stupid didnt knew had he done that earlier they would be at least in 3rd spot..
      Mensah had shut down everyone,he is a massive strong guy..it is not easy win a duel with Mensah..almost impossible..Annholt played the toughest RB in pl..So its excusable…
      i like a combination of Williams + Annholt on LW and LB…they together can play tota football by interchanging…

  21. i have great hopes on the likes such as Nathan Ake, Fosuh Mensah, Hoedt etc… it seems that the Netherlands back will become a solid one (with the already exisiting Janmaat, Blind, Van Dijk – (No BMI forever pls)

    Though what worries me is we still don’t have any reliable replacement for Van Persie, Schneijder and Robben

  22. Hi guys, I am traveling at the moment so not much posting from me. I will try and slip in an Ajax pre-match story and a match review after the victory.

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