Every country has one of these always classic duels and this Sunday will bring you the Dutch version of the Old firm or El Classico namely De Klassieker: Ajax-Feyenoord.
Background of De Klassieker
The two Dutch traditional giants aren’t the illustrious teams from the sixties and seventies anymore, when they regularly competed for the Europa Cup I. Gone as well are the days of Louis van Gaal and Bert van Marwijk winning European Cups, there simply isn’t enough money nowadays in Dutch football to even allow for a serious Dutch effort to reach the latter stadiums of European Football (Although Feyenoord did beat Mourinho’s Manchester United this season in the UEFA Cup).
But they are still the biggest supported clubs in Holland by far, and De Klassieker is always a match on its own. The classic match lost its relevancy a bit over the past few years since Feyenoord fell into a deep financial and sportive hole, and Ajax didn’t managed to win the league for quite some years. However this year the teams are pitched at the top 2 spots and the match is always worth watching even if it is just for all the heated moments.
As idiotic and carnavalesque the Dutch supporters seem when supporting the National team, as freighting and idiotic the supporters of the Dutch clubs can be. Of course, well over 95% of the supporters of all clubs stay far away from violence and such. But it’s that small minority that ruins it for the rest from time to time.
In February 2009, the mayors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam made an agreement with the KNVB (Dutch FA) to ban visiting fans from the away games in an effort to curb the violence. So at De Klassieker it’s now relatively peaceful, and both firms seem to abstain more and more from making nasty references about the second world war. Although hooligans from both teams seem to be active still, with Feyenoorders storming their own (corporate) building a few years back, and with Ajax hoolies randomly disturbing games and festivities.
Wait what? Nazi jokes at a football game? Yeah, it’s just as moronic as it sounds. The Ajax supporters (or better said, just the hooligan kind) call themselves the Jews and continued to make ’jokes’ about the German bombardment on Rotterdam in may 1940. (Because the Jews weren’t harmed by the Germans in those years or something?)
The Feyenoord harde kern desperately tried to match this stupidity by making references about gassing Jews and shouting ‘Hamas Hamas’ slogans. Luckily the last few years this stupidity has somewhat subdued.
In 2011 at Ajax-AZ, a crazy hooligan stormed the field in an attempt to kick the AZ-goalie Esteban in the back. Esteban, being from Costa Rica, evaded this and proceeded to kick the shit out of Wesley the hooligan while the whole nation watched.
This Sunday: realistic expectation
Back to the game of today. Feyenoord is magically in command of the league and look to set Ajax 9 points behind, in which case championship fever would reach galactical levels in Rotterdam-South. Ajax showed to be in a decent form the last couple of games, but is missing their talented striket Dolberg.
But what I’m actually hoping for:
Yours truly is a dreamer and a big Feyenoord fan. So here’s hoping for a hattrick by Feyenoord’s hero Dirk Kuyt!