Did you know Eredivisie? Only 7 of 10 football fans know it.

The Eredivisie is the highest echelon of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. At the 2018–2019 season it was ranked the 11th best league in Europe by UEFA.


The top division consists of 18 clubs. Each club meets every other club twice during the season, once at home and once away. At the end of each season, the club at the bottom is automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie (First Division). At the same time, the champion of the Eerste Divisie will be automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. The next two clubs from the bottom go to separate promotion/relegation play-offs with eight high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie.


The winner of the Eredivisie claims the Dutch national championship. Ajax has won most titles, 25 (33 national titles). PSV Eindhoven are next with 21 (24), and Feyenoord follow with 10 (15). Since 1965, these three clubs have won all but three Eredivisie titles (the 1981 and 2009 titles went to AZ and FC Twente won the 2010 title). Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord are known as the “Big Three” of Dutch football.


They are the only ones in their current forms to have appeared in every edition of the Eredivisie since its formation. A fourth club, FC Utrecht, is the product of a 1970 merger between three of that city’s clubs, one of which, VV DOS, had also never been relegated out.



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ADO Den Haag is a Dutch association football club from the city of The Hague. The club was for a time known as FC Den Haag, with ADO representing the amateur branch of the club. Despite being from one of the traditional three large Dutch cities, it has not been able to match Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV in terms of success in the Eredivisie or in European competition. There is nonetheless a big rivalry with Ajax and Feyenoord. The words Alles Door Oefening translate into Everything Through Practice in Dutch. On 1 February 1905, the club Alles Door Oefening (ADO) was founded in café 'Het Hof van Berlijn' (now: De Paap) in The Hague. In the first years of its existence, the club endured some difficult times as many members refused to pay their fees and the sport of cricket was more popular in the city. ADO started out in the local Haagsche Voetbal Bond, but promoted to the national Nederlandsche Voetbal Bond in 1912. That year they promoted to the 3rd level (3e klasse NVB) and two years later they even earned the championship on that level.

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Fortuna Sittard is a football club in Sittard, the Netherlands. The club currently plays its football in the 12,500 capacity Fortuna Sittard Stadion and features in the Eredivisie. The club was established through a merger of former clubs Fortuna 54 and Sittardia who merged as the Fortuna Sittardia Combinatie on 1 July 1968. The club experienced mixed fortunes throughout its history although they were a regular fixture in the Eredivisie in the 1990s, with many talented players such as Kevin Hofland, Mark van Bommel and Fernando Ricksen emerging from its youth system.

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AZ is a Dutch professional football club from Alkmaar and the Zaanstreek. The club plays in the Eredivisie, the highest professional football league in the Netherlands, and hosts home matches at the AFAS Stadion. AZ has won the Eredivisie twice, in 1980–81 and 2008–09. In the same season as their first league title, they also reached the UEFA Cup Final, which they lost to Ipswich Town. In addition, the team has won the KNVB Cup on four occasions.

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Heracles Almelo is a Dutch professional football club based in Almelo, founded in 1903. The club has won the Dutch national title twice, in 1927 and 1941. In the 2004–05 season, Heracles won the title in the Eerste Divisie, so that during the 2005–06 season, Heracles played in the Eredivisie, where they finished 13th. The average attendance in 2004–05 was 5,700 people. In the recent top flight seasons, this has risen to just over 13,500. Their main rival are FC Twente.

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Vitesse is a Dutch professional football club based in Arnhem (Gelderland). 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.[1] 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.

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PEC Zwolle is a Dutch football club based in Zwolle, currently playing in the Eredivisie, the country's highest level of professional club football. They have played in the Eredivisie for a total of 16 seasons, reaching sixth place in 2015. They won the KNVB Cup in 2014 and also reached the final in 1928, 1977 and 2015. This is the second incarnation of the club; its predecessor of the same name went bankrupt in 1990. The current club was founded immediately afterwards as FC Zwolle before renaming back to PEC Zwolle in 2012.

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Heerenveen is football club that plays in the Eredivisie, the top level of football in the Netherlands. Sportclub Heerenveen was founded on 20 July 1920 in the town of Heerenveen, Friesland, as Athleta. It changed name twice, first to Spartaan and then to v.v. Heerenveen in 1922. While the Netherlands was occupied by Germany, Heerenveen won three successive North of the Netherlands championships, and following the end of World War II it went on to win the same title six times in a row; the club's dominance partly ascribed to the presence of Abe Lenstra. During this period, Lenstra led Heerenveen to a famous victory over Ajax in one of the most noted games in Dutch domestic football history. Trailing 5–1 with 25 minutes remaining, the Frisian team inexplicably fought back for a 6–5 victory.

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Groningen is a Dutch professional football club based in Groningen. The club plays in the Eredivisie, the highest football league of the Netherlands. The club was founded in 1971 when predecessor GVAV changed its name to FC Groningen. Their home stadium was the Oosterpark Stadion from 1971 to 2005, while they currently play at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion. The stadium is more commonly referred to with its former name, Euroborg. Their best result in the Eredivisie was third place in 1991 and 2006, and their worst result in the Eredivisie was relegation to the Eerste Divisie in 1974 and 1998. The club won the KNVB Cup in the 2014–15 season.

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VVV-Venlo is a football club from Venlo, Netherlands, playing in the Eredivisie. The club plays its home games in the -Seacon Stadion- De Koel stadium, which is named after their main sponsor Seacon Logistics. VVV returned to the Eredivisie, the highest league in the Netherlands, by defeating RKC Waalwijk (3-0) in the promotion/relegation play-offs in the 2006–07 season. After one season in the Eredivisie, VVV-Venlo were relegated back to the Eerste Divisie. After a single season, VVV-Venlo won the 2008–09 Eerste Divisie title and returned to the Eredivisie.

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De Graafschap is a professional football club from Doetinchem, Netherlands, playing in the Eredivisie, the first tier of football in the Netherlands. It was formed on 1 February 1954 and they play their home games at the De Vijverberg stadium. The stadium was opened on 12 August 2000 and stands on the site of the club's old pitch. The club name is Dutch for "The County". They are nicknamed Superboeren ("Super Farmers"). De Graafschap had their longest streak in the Dutch top tier from 1995 until 2003. In the 1995-96 season De Graafschap finished in 8th place, an all time high. After this season results went down and in 2003 the club was relegated after finishing in last place (18th).

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Utrecht is a Dutch football club founded on 1 July 1970 and based in the city of Utrecht. The club's colours are red and white. FC Utrecht was founded in 1970 as a merger of three clubs from the city of Utrecht: VV DOS, USV Elinkwijk and Velox, the former of the three having won the national championship in 1958.

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The Philips Sport Vereniging is a sports club from Eindhoven, Netherlands, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. It is best known for its professional football department, which plays in the Eredivisie since its inception in 1956. Along with Ajax and Feyenoord, PSV is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated the Eredivisie. The club was founded in 1913 as a team for Philips employees. PSV's history contains two golden eras revolving around the UEFA Cup victory in 1978 and the 1987–88 European Cup victory as part of the seasonal treble in 1988.

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FC Emmen is a Dutch football club based in Emmen, Drenthe, playing in the Eredivisie, the first tier of football in the Netherlands. The amateur club Emmen was formed on 21 August 1925. When the Dutch professional league was formed in 1954, Emmen opted to maintain its amateur club status instead. In 1985, Emmen finally joined the professional ranks. In 1988 the club was split up in an amateur and a professional section. The latter was mostly called BVO Emmen ( Betaald Voetbal Organisatie, professional football organisation).

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S.B.V. Excelsior is a professional football club based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was founded on 23 July 1902 and was formerly known as "Rotterdamse Voetbal en Atletiek Vereniging Excelsior" (Rotterdam Football and Athletics Union Excelsior). The club was relegated from the top Dutch league, Eredivisie in 2007–08, and promoted back to the Eredivisie at the end of the 2009–10 season. After their relegation in 2012, the team returned to the Eredivisie two years later. Until 2015, Excelsior was a satellite club of Feyenoord. As such, Feyenoord gave Excelsior money and players (either on loan or free transfer). In 2005, the link between the two clubs was severed. It was reinstated in 2009, resulting in the loan of several Feyenoord players to Excelsior for the 2009–10 season. Excelsior's home stadium is the Stadion Woudestein, which has a capacity of about 4,500, one of the smallest stadiums hosting professional football in the Netherlands.

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Willem II Tilburg is a Dutch football club based in Tilburg, Netherlands, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. The team was founded on 12 August 1896 as Tilburgia. On 12 January 1898, the club was renamed Willem II, after Dutch king William II of the Netherlands, who, as Prince of Orange and commander of the Dutch army, had his military headquarters in Tilburg during the Belgian uprising of 1830 and also spent a lot of time in the city after becoming king and would die while there. Established on 12 August 1896 in Tilburg as Tilburgia, the club first played at the Gemeentelijk Sportpark Tilburg and in 1995 relocated to the Koning Willem II Stadion, the ground where they have played ever since. Willem were champions of the Eredivisie in 1916, 1952 and 1955. The Tricolores also won two KNVB Cups in 1944 and 1963 and were also crowned champs of the Eerste Divisie in 1958, 1965 and 2014.

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Feyenoord 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 originally codified in England by The Football Association.

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NAC Breda is a Dutch professional football club, based in Breda, Netherlands. NAC Breda play in the Rat Verlegh Stadium, named after their most important player, Antoon 'Rat' Verlegh. They play in the Eredivisie and are known by the fierce and fanatic support of their fans. In their history, NAC won one national title in 1921 and won one Cup in 1973. NAC was founded on 19 September 1912, when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club.

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Ajax is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Historically, Ajax (named after the legendary Greek hero) has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 33 Eredivisie titles and 19 KNVB Cups. It has continuously played in the Eredivisie, since the league's 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 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.

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Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eredivisie

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