The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Away colours are a choice of coloured clothing used in team sports. They are required to be worn by one team during a game between teams that would otherwise wear the same colours as each other, or similar colours; this change prevents confusion for officials and spectators. In most sports, it is the visiting or road team that must change – second-choice kits are known as away kits or change kits in British English, road uniforms in American English; some sports leagues mandate that away teams must always wear an alternative kit, while others state that the two teams' colours should not match. In some sports, conventionally the home team has changed its kit. In most cases, a team wears its away kit only when its primary kit would clash with the colours of the home team. However, sometimes teams wear away colours by choice even in a home game. At some clubs, the away kit has become more popular than the home version. Replica home and away kits are available for fans to buy; some teams have produced third-choice kits, or old-fashioned throwback uniforms.
In North American sports, road teams wear a change uniform regardless of a potential colour clash. "Color vs. color" games are a rarity, having been discouraged in the era of black-and-white television. All road uniforms are white in gridiron football and the National Hockey League, while in baseball, visitors wear grey. In the National Basketball Association and NCAA basketball, home uniforms are white or yellow, visiting teams wear the darker colour. Most teams choose to wear their colour jerseys at home, with the road team changing to white in most cases. White road uniforms gained prominence with the rise of television in the 1950s. A "white vs. color" game was easier to follow in black-and-white. According to Phil Hecken, "until the mid 1950′s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, it was the norm." Long after the advent of colour television, the use of white jerseys has remained in every game. The NFL's current rules require that a team's home jerseys must be "either white or official team color" throughout the season, "and visiting clubs must wear the opposite".
If a team insists on wearing its home uniforms on the road, the NFL Commissioner must judge on whether their uniforms are "of sufficient contrast" with those of their opponents. The road team might instead wear a third jersey, such as the Seattle Seahawks' "Wolf Grey" alternate. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Cleveland Browns wore white for every home game of the 1955 season; the only times they wore brown was for games at Philadelphia and the New York Giants, when the Eagles and Giants chose to wear white. In 1964 the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams wore white for their home games according to Tim Brulia's research; the St. Louis Cardinals wore white for several of their home games, as well as the Dallas Cowboys; until 1964 Dallas had worn blue at home, but it was not an official rule that teams should wear their coloured jerseys at home. The use of white jerseys was introduced by general manager Tex Schramm, who wanted fans to see a variety of opponents' jersey colours at home games.
The Cowboys still wear white at home today. White has been worn at home by the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, several other NFL teams. Teams in cities with hot climates choose white jerseys at home during the first half of the season, because light colours absorb and retain less heat in sunlight – as such, the Dolphins, who stay white year-round, will use their coloured jerseys for home night games; every current NFL team except the Seattle Seahawks has worn white at home at some time in its history. During the successful Joe Gibbs era, the Washington Redskins chose to wear white at home in the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1982 NFC Championship Game against Dallas. Since 2001 the Redskins have chosen to wear white jerseys and burgundy jerseys equally in their home games, but they still wear white against the Cowboys; when Gibbs returned from 2004 to 2007, they wore white at home exclusively. In 2007, they wore a white throwback jersey; the Dallas Cowboys' blue jersey has been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because of defeats at Super Bowl V in 1971, in the 1968 divisional playoffs at Cleveland, Don Meredith's final game as a Cowboys player.
Dallas's only victory in a conference championship or Super Bowl wearing the blue jerseys was in the 1978 NFC Championship game at the Los Angeles Rams. Super Bowl rules changed to allow the designated home team to pick their choice of jersey. White was chosen by the Cowboys, the Redskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots; the latter three teams wear colours at home, but Pittsburgh had worn white in three road playoff wins, while Denver cited its previous Super Bowl success in white jerseys, while being 0–4 when wearing orange in Super Bowls. Teams playing against Dallas at home wear their white jerseys to try to invoke the "curse", as when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game. Teams including the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants followed suit in the 1980s, the Carolina Panthers did so from 1995 until 2006, including two playoff games; the Hous
Stadion De Vijverberg is the football stadium of the football club De Graafschap from Doetinchem. It has a capacity of 12,600 seats; the name is derived from a hotel with the same name, which stood on the present location of the stadium. Because of all the ponds that had to be filled up, the name Vijverberg arose; the stadium, built in 1954, was renovated in 1970, with the construction of the Vijverberg-, Groenendaal- and Spinnenkop stands and the light installation. After the construction of the roofs above the stands in the late eighties, the radical renovation of the Vijverberg began in the summer of 1998. However, with the positioning of seats on the Spinnekop stand, one of the characteristic parts went lost, so in 2008 De Graafschap decided to remove the seats again; the stadium used to have its own train station, but it has been closed in 2005. The venue opened on 4 September 1954. De Vijverberg at Soccerway
Mike Snoei is a former Dutch football player and is the current manager of Eerste Divisie side Telstar. During his playing days, Snoei played for Excelsior and Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie from 1982–1993, he was a member of the Dutch squad at the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship. Born in Rotterdam, Snoei managed to carve out a ten-year playing career in the Netherlands in the top-tier Eredivisie and second-tier Eerste Divisie, he started his footballing career as a youth with Feyenoord, the biggest club in Rotterdam, before moving to second division side S. B. V. Excelsior, he stayed with Excelsior for six years from 1982 to 1986 before joining Sparta Rotterdam. While with Sparta, Snoei played in the Dutch top tier Eredivisie. Snoei had to retire from the game in 1993 due to torn knee ligaments at the age of 29. Following retirement from professional football, Snoei became a youth coach in the Netherlands, coaching various clubs from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, Snoei joined the Vitesse youth organization where he rose to head coach of the main youth team at the club.
In 2002, Snoei was appointed as the head coach of Vitesse in the Eredivisie. After coaching the club for one season, Snoei moved to Sparta Rotterdam as head coach from 2003 to 2005 before moving to Go Ahead Eagles as the head coach in 2005 to 2008. While at Sparta and Go Ahead Eagles, Snoei led both clubs to the promotion play-offs for the Eredivisie. After leaving Go Ahead Eagles, Snoei left the Netherlands and became the assistant manager to Henk ten Cate at many clubs including Panathinakos from 2008 to 2010, Al Ahli of the UAE Arabian Gulf League in 2010, Umm Salal of the Qatar Stars League from 2010 to 2011, Shandong Luneng of the Chinese Super League from 2011 to 2012. On 8 May 2013, it was announced that Snoei would be returning to head coaching at Pune F. C. of the I-League in India. The Director of Football at Pune said that "Mike will be a great addition to Pune FC, he brings with him a wealth of experience from the top levels of both Asian football. As we continue to invest in our academy and youth teams, Mike will be the perfect fit to develop these players and help the club reach our long term goals".
Snoei became the fourth Dutch coach to be involved in Indian football after Wim Koevermans was signed as head coach of the national team, Rob Baan was brought in as the AIFF technical-director, Eelco Schattorie was signed on as the head coach of fellow I-League club United. Snoei's first signing at the club came on 7 June 2013 when the club signed up forward Prakash Thorat for the upcoming 2013–14 season. Snoei led Pune in his first game as head coach on 21 September 2013 against Mohammedan at the Salt Lake Stadium, it was a successful debut for Snoei as his side won the match 3–1 thanks to a brace from new signing Raúl Fabiani and a goal from another new foreign signing James Meyer. He coached Pune at home for the first time on 10 October 2013 against Mohun Bagan. Pune won the match 2 -- 0 thanks to goals from academy product Thongkhosiem James Meyer. After joining Pune F. C. Snoei said that the approach he wants to take the club in is one where youth development is key to the clubs success.
After his first press conference as head coach of the club Snoei said "Our main objective is to develop youngsters at the club. In this season, you will see good young players getting a fair chance in the first team. Striking the right balance is of utmost importance", he said he would like to incorporate a Dutch style of play into the club. As of 27 December 2013. Pune Football Club Profile
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Sparta Rotterdam is a Dutch professional football club based in Rotterdam. Established on 1 April 1888, Sparta Rotterdam is the oldest professional football team in the Netherlands. In the 2018–19 season, Sparta will play in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier of Dutch professional football; the club is one of three professional football clubs from Rotterdam, the others being Excelsior and Feyenoord. On 1 April 1888, several students from Rotterdam founded a cricket club called Rotterdamsche Cricket & Football Club Sparta. In July 1888, a football branch of the club was established. In 1890, Sparta played its first real football match, in 1892 Sparta disbanded the cricket branch. Sparta was promoted to the highest league of Dutch football on 23 April 1893. In 1897, Sparta withdrew from the competition after continuous dubious arbitration of Sparta matches; the club continued to exist, in 1899 the board of Sparta visited a match of Sunderland. Impressed with the red-and-white jersey of the English club, the board decided that Sunderland's colours would henceforth be the colours of Sparta.
In 1905, Sparta initiated and organised the first home match of the Netherlands national team, against Belgium. The match, won 4–0 by the Netherlands, was a rematch of a game two weeks prior, when the Netherlands beat Belgium 4–1 in Antwerp, Belgium; the first match at Sparta's new stadium, Het Kasteel, in the Spangen area of west Rotterdam, was played on 14 October 1916. The stadium is still Sparta's stadium; until the 2002–03 season, Sparta had always played at the highest level, but after they appointed the former international player Frank Rijkaard as a manager they were relegated from the top-level Eredivisie in 2002. That made Rijkaard resign from his position. Sparta returned to the Eredivisie for the 2005–06 season, they were relegated again in 2010. On 20 August 2010, they equalled Ajax's and Heracles Almelo's Dutch league record win when they defeated Almere City 12–1 with Johan Voskamp scoring an Eerste Divisie record 8 goals on his debut. After six years in the Eerste Divisie, Sparta again won promotion to the Eredivisie in April 2016 after a 3–1 win over Jong Ajax won them an unassailable lead over second placed VVV-Venlo.
However, they were relegated for the third time in their history in May 2018 after they were beaten 1-3 on aggregate by FC Emmen in the promotion/relegation play-offs. The result proved to be a historical one since Emmen won their first promotion to the Eredivisie. Sparta has won three national cups; the best footballers of Rotterdam and Antwerp contested a yearly match between 1909 and 1959 for the Meuse- and Scheldt Cup. It was agreed to play the game at stadium Het Kasteel in Rotterdam and at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp; the cup was provided in 1909 by Kees van Hasselt from P. Havenith from Antwerp; the Sparta Jeugdopleiding is a four-star certified youth academy and amongst the strongest in the nation, having won the national academy of the year award on several occasions. Several International footballers have progressed through the ranks of the academy, including Danny Blind, Danny Koevermans, David Mendes da Silva, Ed de Goey, Winston Bogarde, Memphis Depay, Henk Fräser, Jan van Beveren, Georginio Wijnaldum, Anwar El Ghazi, Jetro Willems, John de Wolf, Kevin Strootman, Rick van Drongelen and Nick Viergever, amongst others.
Netherlands Football League Championship / Eredivisie: 61908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1958–59Eerste Divisie: 12015–16KNVB Cup: 31957–58, 1961–62, 1965–66Eerste Klasse: 101909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1925, 1929, 1953, 1956 Rotterdam Easter TournamentRunners-up: 1934, 1948 Below is a table with Sparta Rotterdam's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956. Q = Qualifying Round 1R = First round 2R = Second round 3R = Third round 1/4 = Quarter-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. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Sparta Rotterdam season 2001–02 Sparta Rotterdam season 2002–03 Sparta Rotterdam season 2003–04 Official website Sparta Rotterdam at Football-lineups.com Statistics itwm despartasupporter Unofficial website in English
Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Ajax has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 33 Eredivisie titles and 18 KNVB Cups, it has continuously played in the Eredivisie, since its inception in 1956 and, along with Feyenoord and PSV, it is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated that competition. Ajax has been one of the most successful clubs in the world. According to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh-most successful European club of the 20th century and The World's Club Team of the Year in 1992. According to German magazine Kicker, Ajax were the second-most successful European club of the 20th century; the club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge. In 1972, they completed the continental treble by winning the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, the European Cup.
It won the first organized UEFA Super Cup in 1972 against Glasgow Rangers. Ajax's last international trophies were the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, 1995 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 Champions League, where they defeated Milan in the final. In 1995, Ajax was crowned as World Team of the Year by World Soccer magazine. Ajax is one of four teams to win the continental treble and the Intercontinental Cup or Club World Cup in the same season/calendar year. Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are the five clubs to have won all three major UEFA club competitions, they have won the Intercontinental Cup twice, the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, as well as the Karl Rappan Cup, a predecessor of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1962. Ajax plays at the Johan Cruyff Arena, which opened as the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996 and was renamed in 2018, they played at De Meer Stadion and the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. Ajax was founded in Amsterdam on 18 March 1900; the club achieved promotion to the highest level of Dutch football in 1911 and had its first major success in 1917, winning the KNVB Beker, the Netherlands' national cup.
The following season, Ajax became national champion for the first time. The club defended its title in 1918–19, becoming the only team to achieve an unbeaten season in the Netherlands Football League Championship. Throughout the 1920s, Ajax was a strong regional power, winning the Eerste Klasse West division in 1921, 1927 and 1928, but could not maintain its success at national level; this changed in the 1930s, with the club winning five national championships, making it the most successful Dutch team of the decade. Ajax won its second KNVB Cup in 1942–43, an eighth Dutch title in 1946–47, the last season the club was managed by Englishman Jack Reynolds, who, up to this point, had overseen all of its national championship successes as well as its 1917 KNVB Cup win. In 1956, the first season of the Netherlands' new professional league, the Eredivisie, was played with Ajax participating as a founding member; the Amsterdam club became the first national champions under the new format and made its debut in the European Champion Clubs' Cup the following year, losing to Hungarian champions Vasas SC 6–2 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.
The team were again Eredivisie champions in 1960 and won a third KNVB Cup in 1961. In 1965, Rinus Michels, who had played for the club between 1946 and 1958, was appointed manager of Ajax, implementing his philosophy of Total Football, to become synonymous with both Ajax and the Netherlands national team. A year earlier, Johan Cruyff, who would go on to become the greatest Dutch footballer of all-time, made his debut. Between them and Cruyff led Ajax through the most successful period in its history, winning seven Eredivisie titles, four KNVB Cups and three European Cups. Ajax won the Dutch championship in 1966, 1967 and 1968, reached the 1969 European Cup final, losing to Milan. During the 1966–67 season, Ajax scored a record 122 goals in an Eredivisie season and won the KNVB Cup to achieve its first league and cup double. In 1969–70, Ajax won a fourth Dutch league championship and second league and cup double in five seasons, winning 27 out of 34 league matches and scoring 100 goals; the 1970–71 season saw Ajax retain the KNVB Cup and reach the 1971 European Cup final, where they defeated Panathinaikos 2–0 with goals from Dick van Dijk and Arie Haan to become continental champions for the first time, with Cruyff being named European Footballer of the Year.
After this success, Michels departed to become manager of Barcelona and was replaced by the Romanian Ștefan Kovács. In Kovács' first season, Ajax completed a treble of the European Cup, the Eredivisie and a third consecutive KNVB Cup; the following season, the team beat Argentine club Independiente to win the 1972 Intercontinental Cup and retained their Eredivisie and European Cup titles, becoming the first club to win three consecutive European Cups since Real Madrid in the 1950s. In 1973, Michels' Barcelona broke the world transfer record to bring Cruyff to Catalonia. Kovács departed to become manager of the France national team, signalling the end of this period of international success. In 1976–77, Ajax won its first domestic championship in four seasons and recorded a double of the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup two years later; the early 1980s saw the return of Johan Cruyff to the club, as well as the emergence of young players Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. The team won back-to-back Eredivisie ti