Is Feyenoord on the way to win the Eredivisie title?


One of the stories of the 2016-17 season which is fairly unreported but it is of the most significant it is that the possibility that Feyenoord Rotterdam might win for the first time in 18 years its 15th Eredivisie title.Currently Feyenoord it is in 1st place of the Dutch Eredivisie with 42 points with its biggest rival Ajax Amsterdam in 2nd with 5 points less than Feyenoord.If Feyenoord fends off Ajax in the title race in the 2nd part of the Eredivisie season which starts this friday,it might spark a return of the days of glory for Feyenood which for the last 15 years was in the wilderness searching itself.Feyenood was founded in 1908 and it is the most popular football club in the Netherlands and together with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven founds the Big Three of Dutch club football besides that clubs like AZ Alkmaar and Twente have in recent years won the Eredivisie,but also it is the weakest of the Big Three with only 14 Eredivisie titles compared 23 of PSV Eindhoven and 33 Eredivisie titles of its biggest rival and record champion of the Netherlands which is Ajax.Also Feyenood is the biggest club in the port city of Rotterdam which is located in Southern Netherlands besides that the city has two small clubs which are Sparta,Feyenoord’s city rival and Exelcisior which functinates as Feyenoord’s satellite team where young Feyernood players are loaned for development.It took 18 years after its founding that the club wins its first ever Dutch league title in 1924 and in the pre-WWII era Feyenoord won four more titles (1928,1936,1938 and 1940),but it was the era of 1960s and 1970s that launched the club into the map of Dutch and European football.Starting with the winning of their sixth Dutch league title in 1961,the club made the debut into the European Champions Cup but it took two seasons to make a serious run in the European Champions Cup that Feyenoord would be close to achieve a huge success,after beating the Hungarians of Vasas SC in the First Round after three legs (two legs of the series ended in 1-1 and 2-2 draws,so a third match had to be played) where by a single goal scored by Rinus Bennaars,Feyenoord faced Stade Reims which they beat 2-1 on aggregatre score,they were a step away to a possible final of the European Champions Cup on the Wembley Stadium,but they were defeated by Benfica which in the final was defeated by AC Milan,nevertheless after the appearance in the semifinal of the European Champions Cup has put the club on the European map.But then came 1970 when the club after years of success in Dutch football has made the final of the European Champions Cup at the legendary San Siro,on their way to the final they beat KR,AC Milan,Vorwarts Berlin and Legia Warsaw and they came the moment of European glory when thanks to goals by Rinus Israel and Ove Kindvall they beat Celtic to win their first major European trophy,also won its first and only to date Intercontinental Cup when they beat Estudiantes De La Plata in two legs 3-2.The rest of the 1970s was a very successful period fo the club,in 1974 they both won the Eredivisie and the UEFA Cup when they defeated Tottenham,but the final was overshadowed by hooliganism of Tottenham’s fans.After that a pierod of decline started besides the club won the Dutch Cup in 1980,but it wasn’t until 1984 that they would win another Eredivisie title which featured a squad whre Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit played together,that was also Cruyff’s last trophy as a player which was with Ajax’s biggest rival.After the Eredivisie title in 1999 and the UEFA Cup in 2002,Feyenoord went into serious financial problems and a decline which which culminated in the 2006-07 season when Dirk Kuyt and Salomon Kalou left for England,while the club was also banned from European competitions due to hooliganism and with a disappointing 7th place in the Eredivisie the thinking was for the club the worst is yet to come,but it didn’t.In 2008 the club won its 11th Dutch Cup and it showed signs of life.The road back to recorvery¬†for Feyenoord started 2011 when the club became financially healthy again and paid all its debts,while three years later in the 2013-14 season suprisingly they finished 2nd in the Eredivisie only 4 points behind Ajax,while in the following season besides the huge loss during the summer transfer window of players like Graziano Pelle,Stefan de Vrij and Bruno Martins,the club would go to play in Europe for the first time in six long years where they made it to the UEFA Europe League,but it was last season’s triumph in the Dutch Cup against FC Utrecht that made a possible return of Feyenoord into the top of Dutch football after years of wilderness.With Giovanni van Bronckhorst on the bench since last season and a solid squad,nobody saw Feyenoord on the top of the Eredivisie this season.In the first ten matches of the season under van Bronckhorst they collected 28 out of 30 points where they trounced 5-0 Groningen at the beginning of the season and Roda JC on matchday 7 at home while their unbeaten run stretched to the beginning of November where they suffered they only defeat by Go Ahead Eagles by a single goal,however their biggest victory came three weeks before Chistmas when they won in the city derby against Sparta Rotterdam 6-1 in the following week they beat AZ 0-4.On friday in the first match of 2017 Feyenoord faces Roda JC,the club which they trounced in the first part of the season and there is no doubt they they would win the match,the question is can Feyenoord sustain their lead to the end of the season to win the first title since 1999 when the last time they won,if they can we are looking at one of the stories of 2017.


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