A football player or footballer is a sport person who plays one of the different types of football. The main types of football are association football, American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby league and rugby union, it has been estimated that there are 250 million association football players in the world, many play the other forms of football. Jean-Pierre Papin has described football as a "universal language". Footballers across the world and at any level may attract large crowds of spectators, players are the focal points of widespread social phenomena such as association football culture. Footballers begin as amateurs and the best players progress to become professional players, they start at a youth team and from there, based on skill and talent, scouts offer contracts. Once signed, some learn to play better football and a few advance to the senior or professional teams. Wages in some top men's leagues are higher than other jobs. Players in the Premier League earn average wages of about $1 million per year.
In the wealthiest clubs in European football leagues, some players earn an average wage up to $6 to $8 million per year. The best players of those clubs can earn up to $70 million per year. However, only a fraction of men's professional football players are paid at this level. Wages may be much more moderate in other divisions and leagues, a significant number of players are semi-professional. For example, the average annual salary for footballers in Major League Soccer for the 2013 season was $148,693, with significant variations depending on player position. Popularity and average salaries in women's leagues are far lower. For example, players in the National Women's Soccer League earn $15,000 to $40,000 per year as of January 2017. A minority of retired footballers continue working full-time within football, for instance as football managers. A 1979 study reported that former first-team ballplayers were over-represented as top ranking executives in their companies and had greater income mobility than second teamers and reserves.
However, some experience chronic health issues, see below. Research shows that association football players that take less than 200ms after the referee blows their whistle for a penalty kick are more to miss scoring than those that take over a second. An Irish 2002 study of association and Gaelic football players characterised players as "lean and muscular with a reasonably high level of capacity in all areas of physical performance"; the opposite is the case for American football, where obesity could be the cause of grave health problems. A 2000 study documented injuries sustained by Czech football players at all levels: Trauma was the cause of 81.5% of the injuries and overuse was the cause of 18.5%. Joint sprains predominated, followed by fractures, muscle strains, ligament ruptures, meniscal tears and contusions, other injuries. Injuries to the knee were most prevalent, followed by injuries to the spine. More injuries occurred during games than in practice. Patellar tendinitis is considered an overused injury that happens to other athletes of every sport.
It is a common problem that football players develop and can be treated by a quadriceps strengthening program. Jumping activities place high strains on the tendon and with repetitive jumping and injury of the tendon can occur; the chronic injury and healing response results in inflammation and localized pain. Although levels of depression and pain in retired football players are on par with the societal average, some players suffer from post-retirement chronic injuries. Head injuries are a particular concern; the average life expectancy or lifespan of an American football NFL player has been reported to be low, only 53 to 59 years depending on playing position. However, a 2012 study reported that retired NFL players have a lower death rate than men in the general population. An oft-cited life expectancy of 58 years has been claimed by Sports Illustrated to be based on a myth. According to a 2007 study, which claims that little supporting data is available, retired American football players had "long and fulfilling careers with no apparent long-term detrimental effects on physical or mental health scores despite a high prevalence of arthritis".
One explanation is that "life expectancy" is ambiguous: it may in some contexts refer to the expected age of death of a player, in other contexts to the expected remaining number of life years. As for association football, a 2011 German study found that German national team players live 1.9 years less than the general male population. Football players participating in international matches for Germany have reduced longevity compared to the general population; this disadvantage was the larger, the earlier the international football player started his international career. This finding is in line with the current knowledge of life expectancy in major athletes those from other team sports A 1983 study of rugby players found that the life expectancy of All Blacks is the same as for the general population. American football players are prone to head injuries such as concussion. In life, this increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. Professional American football players self-reporting concussions are at greater risk for having depressive episodes in life compared with those retired players self-reporting no concussions.
Due to the repeated trauma associated with heading balls, professional associati
Accrington Stanley F.C.
Accrington Stanley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Accrington, England. The club competes in the third tier of the English football league system; the current club was formed in 1968, two years after the collapse of the original Accrington Stanley founded in 1891. They were promoted to the Football League after winning the 2005 -- 06 Football Conference. Accrington had been without a football team following the collapse of the original Accrington Stanley in 1966; the original team had been formed in 1891 and played in the Football League from 1921 to March 1962, but had spent its final four seasons in the Lancashire Combination. At a meeting at Bold Street Working Men's Club in 1968 the revival was initiated, in August 1970 the new club played at a new ground, the Crown Ground. Eric Whalley, a local businessman, took control of the club in 1995 and began the development of the club's ground. After the club was relegated in 1999, Whalley appointed John Coleman as manager.
The club's rise to the Football League is attributed in part to the windfall of hundreds of thousands of pounds reaped by the sell-on clause in the December 2001 transfer of former Stanley star Brett Ormerod to Southampton, which paid Blackpool over a million pounds for his contract. Stanley had taken £50,000 from Blackpool in 1997, with the agreement that Blackpool would pay Accrington a quarter of what it might have received if it in turn transferred Ormerod to another team; the 2002–03 championship of the Northern Premier League followed on Accrington's getting the cash. Following the 2002–03 win of the Northern Premier League, the club was promoted for the first time in its history to the Football Conference; the club's first-ever game in the league was away to another re-formed club, Aldershot Town, on Sunday 10 August 2003. The game was resulted in a 1 -- 2 loss; the season was a success, with a final league position of 10th being achieved. The highlight of that first season in the 5th tier was a sensational run to the FA Cup 3rd round, only losing in a replay away to League One side Colchester United.
The following season saw. The 2004–05 resulted in a 10th-place finish. Club legend Paul Mullin was yet again amongst the goal scorers, adding another 20 to his tally; the 2005–06 season saw the return of Stanley to the Football League. Finishing on 91 points, the club went on a 19-game unbeaten run stretching from October to March, leaving the club an easy passage to League Two; the likes of Paul Mullin, Rob Elliot and Gary Roberts led the club back to the league after 46 years away. The club's first Football League game took place on 5 August 2006 away to now-defunct club Chester City; the club was involved in a relegation battle throughout its first season in the 4th tier. A run of 5 wins in the last 9 games of the season led to a 20th-place finish and was enough to save the club from relegation in its first season back in the Football League. Highlights of that first season back included the club's first-ever Football League Cup match against former European Cup Winners Nottingham Forest; the game resulted in a 1–0 win, leaving the club a 2nd-round away tie against Premier League team Watford losing 6–5 on penalties after a 0–0 draw and extra-time.
The club took part in the Football League Trophy for the first time as a league club and, after defeating Carlisle United and Blackpool in the early rounds, were knocked out by Doncaster Rovers in the Area Quarter-finals. The 2007–08 season produced more of the same, with the club involved in another relegation battle with strugglers Chester City and Mansfield Town. 5 wins in the final 12 games were enough to secure a 17th-place finish and another season in the 4th tier of English Football. However, the club failed to win a game in the FA Cup and League Cup, losing to Huddersfield Town and Leicester City respectively. Performance during the 2008–09 season improved, with the club achieving a modest 16th-place finish in League Two. A run of 6 League wins in the last 12 games was a nice way to finish the season; this season saw the emergence of young prospect Bobby Grant, who fulfilled the early promise seen in previous seasons. The club again failed to make it past the early round of any of the domestic cups, losing in the first round to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup and Tranmere Rovers in both the FA Cup and Football League Trophy.
The 2009–10 season was far better, with the club pushing for a playoff place at the turn of the year. A run of 9 wins in 10 League games saw the club with a chance of making the playoffs, only for this to fade in March/April; the emergence of the Michael Symes and Bobby Grant partnership was a key aspect and, following their achievements throughout the season, both moved on to bigger clubs. In terms of cup performance the club was superb, reaching the 2nd round of the League Cup losing only 1–2 to Queens Park Rangers, the quarter-finals of the Football League Trophy losing 0–2 to Leeds United, the 4th round of the FA Cup losing 1–3 to Premier League team Fulham; the club reached the Football League Two play-offs during the 2010–11 season, one of the most successful in its history. A run of 1 loss in 19 games, from February till May, saw the club finish in a best-ever 5th position losing to League Two newcomers Stevenage in the Playoff Semi-finals; the season saw the emergence of Jimmy Ryan as a star in the making, along with a number of others, including goalkeeper Alex Cisak and midfielder Sean McConville.
In the domestic cups, Stanley reached the 2nd r
The Danish Superliga is the current Danish football championship tournament, administered by the Danish Football Association. It is the highest football league in Denmark and is contested by 14 teams each year, with 1–3 teams relegated. Founded in 1991, the Danish Superliga replaced the Danish 1st Division as the highest league of football in Denmark. From the start in 1991, 10 teams were participating; the opening Superliga season was played during the spring of 1991, with the ten teams playing each other twice for the championship title. From the summer of 1991, the tournament structure would stretch over two years; the 10 teams would play each other twice in the first half of the tournament. In the following spring, the bottom two teams would be cut off, the points of the teams would be cut in half, the remaining eight teams would once more play each other twice, for a total of 32 games in a season; this practice was abandoned before the 1995–96 season, when the number of teams competing was increased to 12, playing each other thrice for 33 games per Superliga season.
For the first season of this new structure, Coca-Cola became the name sponsor of the league, named Coca-Cola Ligaen. After a single season under that name, Faxe Brewery became sponsors and the league changed its name to Faxe Kondi Ligaen. Before the 2001–02 season, Scandinavian Airlines System became the head sponsor, the name of the tournament changed to SAS Ligaen. From January 2015 the Danish Superliga is known as Alka Superliga, as the Danish insurance company Alka became name sponsor. Logos used for naming rights agreements for the league: From 1996 through 2016, the league included 12 clubs which played each other three times; the two teams with the fewest points at the end of the season were relegated to the Danish 1st Division and replaced by the top two teams of that division. During this era, each team played every other team at least once at home and once away plus once more either at home or away; the top six teams of the previous season played 17 matches at home and 16 away while the teams in 7th to 10th place plus the two newly promoted teams played 16 matches at home and 17 away.
Following the 2015–16 season, the league was expanded to 14 teams, accomplished by relegating only the last-place finisher in that season and promoting the top three teams from the 1st division. The 2016–17 season was the first for the new league structure, it began with the teams playing a full home-and-away schedule, resulting in 26 matches for each team. At that time, the league split into a six-team championship playoff and an eight-team qualifying playoff. All teams' table points and goals carry over into the playoffs. In the championship playoff, each team plays the others away again; the top team at the end of the playoff is Superliga champion and enters the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round. The second-place team enters the UEFA Europa League in the first qualifying round; the third-place team advances to a one-off playoff match for another Europa League place. The qualifying playoff is split into two groups, with the teams that finished the regular season in 7th, 10th, 11th, 14th in one group and those finishing 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th in the other.
Each group plays home-and-away within its group. The top two teams from each group enter a knockout tournament, with each match over two legs. If the Danish Cup winner is among the top two finishers in either playoff group, it is withdrawn from the knockout playoff and its opponent automatically advances to the tournament final; the winner of that tournament faces the third-place team from the championship playoff in a one-off match, with the winner entering the Europa League in the first qualifying round. The bottom two teams from each group contest a relegation playoff with several steps, centered on a separate four-team knockout playoff consisting of two-legged matches: The winners of the semifinals advance to the final; the losers of the semifinals play over two legs, with the winner remaining in the Superliga and the loser dropping to the 1st Division. The winner of the final plays the 1st Division runner-up, the loser of the final plays the third-place team from the 1st Division over two legs.
In each case, the winner plays in the next season's Superliga. The 10 most scoring players throughout the history of the Superliga. Latest update 22 May 2018. List of Danish Superliga clubs Sports league attendances Official website Guide to the Danish Superliga
Estonia national football team
The Estonia national football team represents Estonia in international football and is controlled by the Estonian Football Association, the governing body for football in Estonia. Estonia play their home matches at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia. Estonia's first match was held against Finland in 1920; the team participated in their only participation. In 1940, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and did not regain independence until 1991. Estonia's first FIFA recognised match as an independent nation after the break-up of the Soviet Union, was against Slovenia on 3 June 1992, a 1–1 draw in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn. Estonia have never qualified for UEFA European Championship; the team have however reached the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs, by finishing second in their qualifying group, before being drawn up against Ireland for a play-off tie, making 2011 the Annus mirabilis of Estonian football. Estonia has participated in the local sub-regional Baltic Cup championship, which takes place every two years between the countries of Estonia and Lithuania.
Estonia has won the Baltic Cup tournament three times—most in 1938—which is the least of all three Baltic states. The record for the most international caps by an international is held by Martin Reim with 157, who held the European record in 2009 until November of that year. In September 2016, Reim was appointed team manager; the record for most goals is held by Andres Oper with 38. Estonians were introduced to the game of football by English sailors in the first years of the 20th century, when the land was still part of the Russian Empire; the national team was formed after the war of independence. It played its first match on 17 October 1920 in Finland which ended in a 6 -- 0 defeat; the game took place on a grass surface, a first for the Estonians. The Estonian Football Association was founded on 14 December 1921 and affiliated with FIFA in 1923 joining Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Uruguay. Estonia's only participation in a major tournament took place in 1924 at the Olympic Games in Paris.
Estonians lost their only match in the tournament to the United States 1–0. The Estonian league season lasted from the end of May to September. In 1928 the first Baltic football contest was held involving all three nations, it was held nine times during this period. Four of them were held in two in Estonia and three in Lithuania. Estonia was notable for winning the edition of the tournament in 1938. In the crucial meeting between them and Latvia at the Kadrioru Stadium, 2,000 out of the 12,000 spectators were Latvians. Estonia's first FIFA World Cup qualifying match took place on 11 June 1933 in Sweden. Match ended with Swedish 6–2 win; this match was world's first FIFA world cup qualifying match. Since on Sweden defeated Lithuania, match between Estonia and Lithuania was cancelled, because Sweden had won the group. Estonia's first points in the FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds were gained in 1938, playing the qualification matches in 1937, the third edition of the tournament. At the time teams would play each other once in each group.
Estonia were in group one, drawn with Germany and Finland. In their first match against Sweden, the team went 2–0 up before the game reached five minutes of play, only to lose 7–2; this was followed up with a 1–0 success against Finland in which Richard Kuremaa scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute. Qualification was completed with a 4–1 defeat against Germany, despite a goal from Georg Siimenson taking the teams in at half time with a 1–0 lead for the Estonians; as a result, Estonia failed to qualify for the World Cup. The team's biggest win came on 26 July 1928, a 6–0 success against Lithuania in Tallinn, meanwhile their biggest defeat came on 11 August 1922, a 10–2 loss to Finland. Out of the team's head coaches before the Second World War, seven of them were Hungarian with Antal Mally taking this position twice. There were four foreign coaches, while the first Estonian national team was coached by Albert Vollrat in 1932. Coaches played for several seasons, who determined the composition of the football association.
Players were in Tallinn clubs, such as TJK, Sport and Tallinn Estonia. The republic's most capped players were goalkeeper Evald Tipner and the outfield players Eugen Einmann, Eduard Ellman-Eelma and Karl-Rudolf Silberg-Sillak. Top goal scorers were Ellman-Eelma, Richard Kuremaa, Arnold Pihlak, Georg Siimenson and Friedrich Karm. Players received small pay for their contributions – 5 Estonian krooni in 1938; the Baltic tournament victory was 50 krooni. On 18 July 1940 the team played their last official game as an independent nation for more than half a century; the game was a 2 -- 1 victory against Latvia. After Soviet occupation in August 1940, the national team demised along with the country. During German occupation, the team was revived and they played two unofficial friendlies, but only few players remained from the pre-war era; when Soviet troops invaded Estonia again, some of the best footballers were mobilised. Many ex-nationals were in Estonia's team in Geislingen's refugee camp; the clubs were renamed in the second half of the 1940s and the traditions started to fade.
According to U
FC Flora known as Flora Tallinn, or as Flora, is a professional football club based in Tallinn, that competes in the Meistriliiga, the top flight of Estonian football. The club's home ground is A. Le Coq Arena. Formed in 1990, Flora were founding members of the Meistriliiga, are one of two clubs which have never been relegated from the Estonian top division, along with Narva Trans. Flora have won more trophies than any other club in Estonian football, with a record 11 Meistriliiga titles, seven Estonian Cups and a record nine Estonian Supercups. Flora was founded on 10 March 1990 by Aivar Pohlak as an effort to revive Estonian football during the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the team was based on players from Lõvid youth team. Flora were relegated; the situation changed after the formation of the Meistriliiga in 1992. After 52 years of foreign occupation, Estonian clubs could once again play for the Estonian League Championship title. Flora finished the inaugural season of the Meistriliiga in fourth place.
After the first season, the league was reformed to run from Autumn to Spring. Flora finished the 1992–93 season as runners-up. In 1993, Roman Ubakivi was appointed as manager. One round before the end of the 1993–94 season, who led the Meistriliiga table at the time, was controversially disqualified over allegations of match fixing; the season ended with Norma both on equal 36 points. Flora was awarded their first league title; the club made their European debut in the 1994–95 UEFA Cup, losing to Odense 0–6 on aggregate in the preliminary round. Flora managed to defend the league title in the 1994–95 season and won the 1994–95 Estonian Cup, defeating Lantana-Marlekor 2–0 in the final. In January 1996, Teitur Thordarson replaced Ubakivi as manager. Disappointing start in the 1995–96 season left the team in second place. Flora finished the 1996–97 season as runners-up once again. In the 1997–98 season, the club won their first league title under Thordarson. Subsequently, the league format was changed and Flora managed win another title in the same calendar year.
Flora made their debut in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the 1998–99 season, narrowly losing to Steaua București 4–5 on aggregate in the first qualifying round. The club added another Estonian Cup trophy after defeating Lantana 3–2 in the finals. Since 1999, Meistriliiga adopted the current league format with the season running from Spring to Autumn within a single calendar year; the 1999 season was unsuccessful. In 2000, Tarmo Rüütli was appointed as manager. Under Rüütli, Flora finished the 2000 season as runners-up, behind Levadia who won the title without a single loss. In 2001, a new era began for Flora as the club moved to the new A. Le Coq Arena and Rüütli was replaced by Arno Pijpers. Under Pijpers, Flora won three consecutive Meistriliiga titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 season, Flora won the league without losing a single league match, extending their unbeaten run from the previous season to 37, while Tor Henning Hamre scored a record 39 goals in a season. Pijpers left Flora in September 2004, before the end of the 2004 season, was replaced by Janno Kivisild.
The team failed finishing in third place. The 2005 season was unsuccessful as Flora placed fourth, 26 points behind the league champions TVMK; this was the first time Flora didn't win a Meistriliiga medal since 1992. After the disappointing season, Kivisild was replaced by Pasi Rautiainen. In the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, Flora defeated Lyn Oslo 1–1 on aggregate on away goals in the first qualifying round, before losing to Brøndby 0–4 on aggregate in the second qualifying round; the club placed second in the 2007 season. In 2007, Flora suffered their biggest margin of defeat in the Meistriliiga thus far, losing 0–6 to TVMK. Flora finished the 2008 season as runners-up, behind Levadia once again, despite amassing 91 points and scoring 113 goals. Tarmo Rüütli returned to Flora for the 2009 season, but failed to lead the club to winning the league, placing fourth. Flora were more successful in the Estonian Cup, winning the trophy in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Rüütli was replaced by the former Flora player and Estonia national team record cap holder Martin Reim.
Under Reim, rejuvenated Flora ended the reign of Levadia who had won the four previous Meistriliiga titles and won the league in the 2010 season. Flora defended their title in the 2011 season and won the 2010–11 Estonian Cup, defeating Narva Trans 2–0 in the final. Flora finished the 2012 season behind the champions Nõmme Kalju and Levadia. After the season, Reim left the club and was replaced Marko Lelov in December 2012. Lelov won the 2012–13 Estonian Cup, but was sacked in July 2013 after disappointing results in the league, he was replaced by Norbert Hurt as a caretaker, with position being made permanent later. Flora finished the 2013 season in fourth place and placed third in 2014. In 2015, Flora celebrated their 25th anniversary by winning their 10th league title in the 34th round of the season; the club won the 2015–16 Estonian Cup, defeating Sillamäe Kalev 3–0 in extra time in the final. In May 2016, Aivar Pohlak resigned from the club's presidency and was succeeded by his son Pelle Pohlak.
In the first qualifying round of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, Flora lost to Lincoln Red Imps 2–3 on aggregate, after which Hurt resigned and was replaced by Argo Arbeiter. Flora finished the disappointing 2016 season in fourth place. Arbeiter was sacked and in January 2017. In the 2017 season, Flora won their 11th Meistriliiga title. In December 20
SBV Vitesse known as Vitesse Arnhem, or as Vitesse, is a Dutch professional football club based in Arnhem. Established on 14 May 1892, Vitesse is the oldest professional football club in the Eredivisie; the club has enjoyed some success in the competition, has featured in the UEFA Cup competition and became the first Dutch football club to be owned by a foreigner when it was taken over by Georgian businessman Merab Zjordania in 2010. Since 1998, the club has played its home games at the GelreDome, their best result in the Eredivisie was third place in 1997–98. The club won the KNVB Cup in 2016–17. Throughout the years, Vitesse established itself as a stepping stone for future world class players like Willem Hesselink, Just Göbel, Roy Makaay, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Mahamadou Diarra, Philip Cocu, Nikos Machlas, Sander Westerveld, Raimond van der Gouw, Wilfried Bony, Marco van Ginkel and Nemanja Matić. Vitesse, founded in 1892, are the 2nd oldest professional football club still in existence in the Netherlands, after Sparta Rotterdam who were formed in 1888.
The roots of Vitesse pre-dated Sparta by a year as in 1887, a club with the name "Arnhemsche cricket- en voetbalvereeniging Vitesse" was formed by a group of high school students who played their sport on the Rijnkade, overlooking the River Rhine in the city centre. Reluctant to choose a Latin or English name for the club as they felt those languages were too elitist, they picked the French word Vitesse, meaning "speed". In 1891 the club disbanded as they were no longer able to find anywhere suitable to play cricket after a Velodrome was built on their usual playing field in the Klarenbeek Park; the following year a group of wealthy students resurrected the sports club, this time with the name AVC Vitesse. In the summer they in the winter football. In the end of 1892, Vitesse played its first real football match, in 1894 Vitesse disbanded the cricket branch. In 1895 and 1896 Vitesse became champions of the Gelderland competition. From the foundation of the Dutch national football championship in 1898 until 1954, the title was decided through play-offs by a handful of clubs who had won their regional league.
Vitesse lost the final of the national championship six times. In 1912, Vitesse reached the final of the Dutch Cup Tournament for the first time. Vitesse lost the final with 0–2 from HFC Haarlem. In this period Vitesse had top players, likes Willem Hesselink and Just Göbel; this players were active in the Dutch national team. In 1914 John William Sutcliffe became the first foreign trainer. During World War II, Vitesse didn't play-official matches because playing football in the open air was forbidden. During the Battle of Arnhem, the residents of the city were forcibly evicted from their homes, allowing the Germans to turn the north bank of the Rhine into a defended line. Residents were not allowed to return home without a permit and most did not return until after the war; the football field and clubhouse was destroyed. The damage was repaired in the years after the liberation. In 1984 it was decided to divide the amateur sections of the club; the professional section was renamed SBV Vitesse whilst the amateur section became "Vitesse 1892", which lasted until they disbanded in 2009.
From 1984, Karel Aalbers was the president of SBV Vitesse. Aalbers' goal was to bring Vitesse from the bottom of the Second League, the league in which the club originated, to the top 40 soccer clubs of Europe, he developed the basic idea for the'Gelredome', a stadium with a sliding pitch that can be moved out of the building. The same system was applied in Gelsenkirchen and in Japan. Events such as pop concerts can be held without damaging the grass. Gelredome opened in 1998, it has a roof that can be closed. It is climate controlled as well. In the first season after the opening, Gelredome's attendance rose to 20,000. Vitesse made their debut in European competition in 1990; the club won their first match in the first round 1–0 over Derry City. The club remained financially sound through making notable profits on the transfer market. Players such as Roy Makaay, Sander Westerveld, Nikos Machlas, Glenn Helder and Philip Cocu were sold for large sums of money. Others came to occupy empty player positions, such as Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Vitesse finished in top 4 positions, made profits and showed a solid balance sheet in the final years of Aalbers' presidency. The club became regular competitors in the UEFA Cup and in 1997–1998 finished third in the Eredivise, its record highest finish to date. Herbert Neumann was Vitesse's manager over most of these years, while star players included: Nikos Machlas, the first Vitesse player to win the European Golden Boot in 1998 when he scored 34 goals in a season. Additional stars included Dejan Čurović, who spent six years at Vitesse playing 109 matches as a striker, scoring 41 goals including the first goal in GelreDome. Meanwhile, Dutch forward Roy Makaay spent four years at Vitesse, scoring 42 goals in 109 matches between 1993 and 1997. Aalbers resigned on 15 February 2000, after the main sponsor, threatened to pull the plug if he did not. Nuon, as a public utility company owne
RKC Waalwijk is a football club playing in the Dutch Eerste Divisie. Its name is derived from'Rooms Katholieke Combinatie' and was established as a merger of HEC, WVB and Hercules; the club was used to play its home games at Sportpark Olympia. Its new stadium, the 7500 seater Mandemakers Stadion was opened in 1996 and featured the home match against Roda JC. While considered one of the Eredivisie's smaller clubs, it maintained its top flight status for many years, its home colors are blue. At the end of the 2006–07 season, RKC Waalwijk were relegated from the Eredivisie after a defeat in play-offs against VVV-Venlo. On 3 June 2009 they were promoted to the Eredivisie division after a win in the play-offs against De Graafschap. Though, their spell didn't last long ending in the last place with only 15 points. In the season followed they would finish first in the Eerste Divisie promoting back in the top flight of Dutch football. After another relegation at the end of the 2013-14 season, RKC Waalwijk finished 20th in the 2014-15 season of Eerste Divisie.
However, they didn't relegate to Topklasse because both of the two Topklasse champions declined promotion into professionalism. In 2016-17, they made the Eerste Divisie playoffs. Below is a table with RKC's domestic results since the introduction of professional football in 1984. Group = group game 1R = first round 2R = second round 3R = third round 1/8 = 1/8 final As of 1 February 2019Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Eerste Divisie: 1987-88, 2010-11 Dutch football league teams Official website