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The Eredivisie is the highest league in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1956 and consists of 18 clubs each season. The Eredivisie most successful side is Ajax of Amsterdam, who have won the title 32 times.
PSV Eindhoven and Ajax have dominated the league since its inception. 12 of the last 14 Eredivisie titles have been won by one of these two sides. Feyenoord are the league’s third most successful side, winning the league on 14 occasions, most recently in 1999.
The Eredivisie greatest ever player was Johan Cruyff who won the Eredivisie on 9 occasions. Cruyff also received the Ballon d’Or during his time with Ajax (and would go on to win a further two). In the twilight of his career Cruyff controversially left Ajax for the second time in his career in favour of fierce rivals Feyenoord, where he guided the team to the cup double in his only season with the club. Cruyff’s number 14 jersey has been retired by Ajax in his honour.
Cruyff finds himself 3rd on the all-time scorers chart with 215 Eredivisie goals, behind Ruud Geels on 265 and Willy van der Kuijlen on 311.
Ajax’s academy is regarded by many to be one of the finest in the world, having produced countless numbers of world class exports over the years. Notable graduates of Jong Ajax, the name of the reserve team, include Dutch legends Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Edgar Davids, the de Boer brothers, and Johan Cruyff. More recently players like Christian Eriksen and Viktor Fischer have also come through their ranks.
While Ajax continue to rule the league, clubs like FC Twente and Vitesse are enjoying more successful spells, competing for the league’s European qualifying spots.
Aside from Ajax’s Siem de Jong, Viktor Fischer and defender Joel Veltman, other notable players in the league include prolific scorers Graziano Pelle of Feyenoord and Alfred Finnbogason of Heerenveen as well as FC Twente’s playmaker Dusan Tadic.
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