On Saturday night a Dutch friend took me to see a Feyenoord match in De Kuip (The Tub) which is their home ground stadium.
The team of Feyenoord is steeped in history, and since its establishment in 1908 it has had an army of fiercely loyal fans. Their passion and love for the club rivals that of any other European club you could name.
Feyenoord saw some massive success early in its career, and again throughout the 70′s. Unfortunately the last few years have seen no big wins, with the last Eredivisie (Premier League of Dutch Football) win being in 1999, and the last UEFA win in 2002.
Of course the fans love to win (what fans don’t?), but no-one can say they don’t stick by their club through thick and thin. I think I’m becoming quite a fan myself.
Here’s a tip what not to do in De Kuip (and Rotterdam in general):
Everyone knows the rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona, well it is just as fierce between the two big cities of The Netherlands. There have been quite a few altercations which have resulted in Ajax fans now not being allowed in the Feyenoord stadium and vice versa.
So we started the afternoon with a couple of sneaky pre-match pints of Heineken at Murphy’s Irish pub, then it was off to the tram to make our way to the stadium.
But hang on, a quick stop off at the local Feyenoord pub close to the stadium for another brew (this time it was Hertog Jan). The pub only played Feyenoord songs so it was a great pre-game atmosphere to prepare us for the match.
The weather was looking a bit ominous as we walked over the bridge to De Kuip!
It started to rain while we lined up for the tickets outside the stadium, but that was nothing a tasty cone of hot chips with generous dollops of mayonnaise can’t help.
It took us a while to get in so we missed kick-off unfortunately, but we did finally get into the stadium.
The first half was a little lack lustre, but it gave Wouter (my Dutch friend who got me the ticket) the opportunity to tell me a lot about the club and its history, which was great to hear!
Luckily, all the action took place in the second half. I got most of it on video!
As you can see from the video, it all started off well with a penalty awarded to Guidetti in the box. He proceeded to quickly and efficiently hammer the ball into the back of the net. Then what does he do – well he decides to defy European Football law and remove his shirt pumping his hard earned pectorals obligingly at the screaming Feyenoord fans.
This gave him a yellow card, and because he already had one from earlier in the game it was followed by a nasty red. You can see his coach knows what’s about to happen as soon as the happy fellow whipped off the Feyenoord Red & White.
Guidetti is a nice story for Feyenoord though, he is just a young fellow of 19 and is on loan to Feyenoord from Manchester City which has given him some much deserved play time. He’s been absolutely demolishing goals left and right for them all season, and even helped Feyenoord smash Ajax 4 – 2 (the first win over them in 6 years).
Wouter told me some fans even got Guidetti tattoos – that’s taking fandom to a whole new level, but whatever floats your boat!
There is no doubt Manchester City will take him back and likely sell him off for a bundle of cash to one of the Spanish or Italian clubs while he’s still hot.
The kicker is because of his red card he can’t play next week’s game against PSV Eindhoven (they’re the ‘other’ one to beat apart from Ajax). I love that this is big news – I’m finally in a country where the real football is number one (without AFL, NRL and Union getting in the road).
All in all, it was a fun night out and I’m looking forward to doing it again. I might even grab some season tickets if I’m still around Rotterdam for next season!