Football

Eredivisie: The steady decline of Dutch football (1)

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For decades, football in Holland has been praised for its ferocious style and high levels of entertainment.

This has been seen with Dutch teams, notably Ajax, Feyenord and PSV Eindhoven, winning European trophies as well as still getting to the latter stages of Europe, that Dutch football was there to witness.

Other teams such as FC Twente, AZ Alkmaar and Heerenveen in Europe have had successful exploits, reaching the latter stages of the Europa League while ensuring the Eredivisie has a sense of competitiveness in terms of the teams that are in Europe.

While the focus has been predominantly on Ajax, Feyenord and PSV, the other three have ensured that it's not all about them, especially AZ Alkmaar in recent seasons getting to the quarter-finals twice in the past three seasons.

However, though in recent years the standard has gradually - but notably - slipped to a point where Eredivisie has hit what is arguably its all-time low, this being evidenced by Ajax being decimated 6-1 on aggregate by Red Bull Salzburg in the last 32, and AZ Alkmaar losing to Benfica.

Year after year, the gap to Europe's elite has increased and now it has arrived at a stage where some serious questions are being asked as the Dutch teams are struggling to challenge in the Champions League and even now the Europa League.

If the decline continues much longer, Dutch football will be in genuine danger of losing its place on the football radar not only in Europe but potentially the world.

Here's why it is losing its way.

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Topics:
Eredivisie
Football
European News

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