The renaissance of Ajax, a superclub back on the map

Pareidolia – the perceiving of familiarity where none exists – is a more common psychological phenomenon than you might think. Frequently reported examples include; finding images in cloud formations, visualising a man on the moon, and hearing recognisable voices in random noise. In Amsterdam last Wednesday, several thousand Ajax fans were dealt a severe case.…

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Frank Rijkaard: the reluctant one

Delving into the treasure troves of Dutch football’s history is an often emotive and enriching experience. Juxtaposed to the relative mediocrity of the present, the Netherlands’ footballing past showcases a talent pool that ought to be impossible for such a small nation. From the foreign forefathers of Jack Reynolds and Vic Buckingham came the drive…

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The Battle of Nuremberg at World Cup 2006

On any occasion that a player’s participation in a major tournament is cut short courtesy of an accumulation of yellows, the empathetic aftermath often unites the watching world in a way unlike most footballing matters. The repeat offender, painfully aware that should his team progress he shall be relegated to the role of spectator by…

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Dirk Kuyt: a selfless hero for all the ages

On the southern fringes of Rotterdam’s eclectic centre, deposited between train tracks and the River Maas, Stadion Feyenoord encapsulates many of its city’s nuances. Better known by its moniker De Kuip (The Tub), the stadium is all at once contemporary and primitive. Traditionally, each year sees De Kuip host the Dutch Cup final. As is…

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