Just a few short years after falling on the hardest of times, Feyenoord won the Dutch league title after a gap of nearly twenty years
The wait is over.
Feyenoord have finally been crowned champions of Holland after enduring an 18-year wait. Club legend Dirk Kuyt made sure the Eredivisie title returned to Rotterdam with a match-winning hat-trick vs. Heracles Almelo on Sunday. The title win put the city in a state of ecstasy as thousands of fans were overwhelmed with emotions varying from jubilation to tears of joy.
The relief of the fans was made even bigger, having experienced a missed opportunity to claim the title just seven days ago. It was local rivals Excelsior who dealt a blow to Giovanni van Bronckhorst & co and with Ajax capitulating on Feyenoord’s slip up, the gap between the Dutch heavyweights was reduced to one point.
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) May 14, 2017
Although Feyenoord had been on top all season, they were now being closed down by a scintillating Ajax team. However, they still had their fate in their own hands as a win against Heracles Almelo on the final matchday was enough to grab the 15th league title in the club’s history.
As expected, De Kuip was rocking ahead of the title-deciding game. Most supporters were probably filled with nerves but it was Dirk Kuyt that helped his fans to relax a little bit by opening the score after just 45 seconds of play. It was an explosion. Mayhem. On the pitch, in the stands and in the dugout. Every tiny bit of frustration of the past eighteen years was expressed in the celebrations.
Kuyt went on to add another two in the remainder of the game, making it 3-0 to Feyenoord. The club ended the season with 82 points, winning 26 games and both drawing and losing four. Feyenoord deservedly won the Eredivisie title and have now officially returned to the elite of Holland, completing the original top-3 of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV.
Someone who shouldn’t be overlooked when praising people for this triumph is current Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Because when the former Barcelona player took over in 2011, Feyenoord were heavily in debt and had just lost 10-0 vs. PSV, underlining the crisis surrounding the club. Koeman was limited to graduating youth players to the first team and had no cash available.
Koeman integrated the youngsters into the team and gave them the confidence to play their game and it paid off. Two second-place finishes were achieved and it was judged as exceptional work from Koeman by the Dutch media. Feyenoord faced the competition of financially better equipped Ajax, PSV, FC Twente and Vitesse in these years, Koeman, however, managed to outwit them.
Koeman deserves recognition and so does Van Bronckhorst. The Feyenoord manager has been in management for just two years and already has a cup and a league title in the bag. Not only is Gio a great representative for the club but he is also a manager that acknowledges his team’s needs and adapts his style of play accordingly. It’s a sign of a good coach and with Feyenoord on the rise, he can develop himself into a legendary figure in Rotterdam.
When it comes to the players, a special mention can be given to striker Nicolai Jorgensen – who is the league’s top scorer with 21 goals – and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi – whose energy and setting up of attacks were key in Feyenoord’s production of goals. Both players have covered themselves in glory and are now in the spotlights of several European clubs. Players leaving will always be a consequence of a Dutch club having a good season.
What is certain is that Feyenoord are back where they belong and with the crop of players coming through and financial stability, the illustrious club is in the best state possible.