The city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is the second largest in the kingdom and home to the largest cargo port in Europe. It may not be as fancied and high profile as Amsterdam but it is near one of the important centers of European government in The Hague and on these grounds exerts a massive impact in the ways of the world. Its motto: Sterker Door Strijd. Stronger Through Struggle.
The city’s motto couldn’t have been any more relevant to the 2016-17 season for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Feyenood Rotterdam, established on July 19, 1908, 108 years ago. A long and drawn-out race came down to the wire and at their home ground, Stadion Feijenood, a.k.a. De Kuip or The Tub, De club van het volk—The People’s Club—bathed in the waters of UEFA Champions League-bound glory in front of a sellout crowd, smashing John Stegeman’s Heracles Almelo 3-1 to win its 15th Eredivisie title and its first since 1999. (A similar, though slightly shorter, wait will presumably come to an end this Wedneday for AS Monaco, and TST will have you covered on proceedings at Stade Louis II starting from 9 a.m.).
Dirk Kuyt has been a revelation for Feyenoord. The former Liverpool ace has found his niche scoring for the People’s Club, and his hat trick in the first, 12th and 84th minutes sealed the deal for Feyenoord. Ironically, he is only the third-best scorer on the team with 12 league goals. Nicolai Jorgensen is Feyenoord’s top goalscorer with 21 goals on the year. Jens Toornstra has also come up big for the champions, scoring 14 goals this season.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 14, 2017
Peter Bosz’s AFC Ajax also ended their season with a 3-1 win over Erwin van de Looi’s Willem II Tilborg at the Koning Willem II Stadion, but will have to be content, for now, with the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Young gun and transfer prospect Kasper Dolberg (38′), Davinson Sanchez (48′) and Davy Klaassen (66′) scored for Ajax, who will be upgraded to the playoff round if they defeat favored Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final. Ajax backed their way into the final after getting sent to the cleaners by Bruno Genesio’s Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 in the second leg of the UEFA semis at the Parc OL in Lyon for a 5-4 aggregate win.
Feyenoord finish the year with a 26-4-4 (82 points), while Ajax end the Eredivisie season at 25-6-3 (81 points). Sitting at third place are Phillip Cocu’s PSV Eindhoven with a record of 22-10-2 (76 points). They will be in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, while Henk Fraser’s SBV Vitesse Arnhem (15-6-13, 51 points), finish fifth but qualify for the Europa League group stage after winning the KNVB Cup.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Feyenoord (C)||34||26||4||4||86||25||+61||82||Qualification to Champions League group stage|
|2||Ajax||34||25||6||3||79||23||+56||81||Qualification to Champions League third qualifying round|
|3||PSV Eindhoven||34||22||10||2||68||23||+45||76||Qualification to Europa League third qualifying round|
|4||Utrecht||34||18||8||8||54||38||+16||62||Qualification to European competition play-offs|
|5||Vitesse||34||15||6||13||51||40||+11||51||Qualification to Europa League group stage|
|6||AZ||34||12||13||9||56||52||+4||49||Qualification to European competition play-offs|
|8||Groningen||34||10||13||11||55||51||+4||43||Qualification to European competition play-offs|
|11||ADO Den Haag||34||11||5||18||37||59||−22||38|
|16||NEC||34||9||7||18||32||59||−27||34||Qualification to Relegation play-offs|
|17||Roda JC Kerkrade||34||7||12||15||26||51||−25||33|
|18||Go Ahead Eagles (R)||34||6||5||23||32||73||−41||23||Relegation to Eerste Divisie|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Play-off (only for deciding champion and relegation); 5) Head-to-head points; 6) Head-to-head goal difference; 7) Head-to-head away goals scored; 8) Draw. (Note: Criteria 5-8 is only used if deciding Europa League play-off places)
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
FC Utrecht (18-8-8, 62 points), AZ Alkmaar (12-13-9, 49 points), FC Groningen (10-13-11, 43 points) and SC Heerenveen (43 points), qualify for the European competition playoffs, with the winner making the Europa League second qualifying round. Rene Hake’s FC Twente finished seventh with a record of 12-9-13 (45 points) but are serving the first of a three-year ban from European football due to financial improprieties dating from the 2014-15 campaign.
Deventer’s Go Ahead Eagles were relegated after a 6-5-23 season (23 points) while NEC Nijmegen (9-7-18, 34 points) and Roda JC Kerkrade (7-12-15, 33 points) have been consigned to the relegation playoffs against teams from the Eerste Divisie, the Dutch second division.
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