August marks the time for kickoff in many European football leagues, and the Eredivisie isn’t an exception. Starting with the first match between Den Haag and Utrecht teams, there’s a long and exciting season ahead. So, Dutch football fans, prepare your cheers – your team needs your support!
If you are a fan of the ‘team orange’ in international competitions, you shouldn’t miss the Eredivisie either. The Eredivisie, which translates to the ‘Honor Division,’ is the top professional football league in the Netherlands. Founded in 1956, it is a relatively young national league among the other top European national competitions. Even though Eredivisie may refer to other sports as well, it is generally understood as referring to football. And no wonder – football is the most popular sport in the Netherlands.
This season is the 62nd season of the Eredivisie, and there will be 18 teams competing for the champion’s title. The defending champion is Feyenoord – will they take the lead this year again? What are your predictions? Do not miss a chance to watch top-class Dutch football and see the whole drama on the field. You can watch the Eredivisie on Fox Sports (NL) and Canal+ (FR). Away from the country? Get NordVPN and stream sports from anywhere on Earth – well, except Antarctica.
Looking back to the roots of the Eredivisie, it is slightly surprising that it took longer for the Netherlands to form a national football league than for other European countries. The professional league, which we know as the Eredivisie today, was founded in 1956. It is important to mention that before that time, a competition existed as well – however, it was strictly amateur.
The reason behind this was the position of the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). It was against any form of payment to players and would suspend those caught in receiving a salary. As a consequence, many football players went abroad, and they were no longer welcome in the Dutch national team.
The North Sea flood of 1953 was devastating, but it also brought an opportunity for the Dutch football. Many Dutch players were playing in the French league at that time, so they organized a charity match against the national team of France. The Royal Dutch Football Association didn’t like the initiative and boycotted the game. Despite that, Dutch players defeated the French national team by scoring two goals, and the match ended with the result 2:1.
The victory sparked interest and enthusiasm for bringing professionalism into the Dutch football. Since the KNVB didn’t change its’ opinion, a ‘rebel’ professional football association named NBVB was founded in 1954. The KNVB and NBVB ran their separate competitions until an agreement to merge the two leagues was reached. The inaugural season of the new league, which we call the Eredivisie today, took place in 1956-1957 with 18 football clubs competing. Which team became the first champion of the Eredivisie? It was Ajax Amsterdam – the ones who have collected the most titles in Eredivisie so far.
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