With three professional football clubs Rotterdam is the football capital of the Netherlands. Visiting Feyenoord, Sparta or Excelsior is a must do for football fans during their trip in Rotterdam.
Feyenoord is the most famous club of Rotterdam. The people’s club with supporters all over the Netherlands was founded in the neighbourhood Feijenoord in Rotterdam South in 1908. Feyenoord is playing in the famous Stadion Feijenoord, nicknamed De Kuip, the most praised stadium in the Netherlands with a capacity of 51.137 seats. Feyenoord was the first Dutch club that won the European Cup and the World Cup in 1970. Feyenoord was also the last Dutch club that won an European Cup in 2002. Feyenoord, winning 15 national titles, is the current national champion. The most famous Feyenoord players are Coen Moulijn, Willem van Hanegem, Johan Cruijff, Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman, Dirk Kuijt and Robin van Persie. If you are interested in Feyenoord consider visiting the Feyenoord Museum.
Another traditional and even older club from Rotterdam is Sparta, based in Spangen in western Rotterdam. Establish in 1888 (originally as a cricket club) Sparta is the oldest football club in the Netherlands. The Sparta Stadium, nicknamed Het Kasteel, was opened in 1916, actually the first football stadium in the Netherlands. The name ‘Het Kasteel’ (The Castle) comes from a part of the stadium which looks similar to a castle. Het Kasteel was renovated the last time in 1999 and has these days a capacity of 11.926 seats. The golden years of Sparta were definitely in the first half of the 20th century. In total Sparta has won 6 national titles of which the last one dates from 1959.
Excelsior (since 1902) is the third club of Rotterdam. The football club from Kralingen in eastern Rotterdam is playing his games in the modest Woudestein stadium with a capacity of 4.500 spectators. Although Excelsior is one of the smallest clubs in the Netherlands they do well with a very small budget. Most of the times they play in the Eredivisie, the country’s primary football competition.