A brief history...
Feyenoord was founded by a group of football-playing youngsters in 1908 in a working-class area of Rotterdam, initially taking the name Wilhelmina after the reigning Queen of the Netherlands. The date was 19 July, the setting the Café De Vereeniging as the blueprint for the rise of a club which would enjoy a glorious future was laid out. The club underwent a number of reincarnations before all parties agreed on the name Feijenoord, after the area of South Rotterdam in 1912. Feyenoord won their first Dutch Championship in 1924, the workers overcoming the gentry for the first time. Still an amateur club, the football world began to sit up and take notice of Feyenoord in 1938 when Hungarian coach Richard Dombi's team defeated the professionals of Arsenal 1-0.
Feyenoord went on to participate in a series of memorable games and none more so than on 8 September 1965 when the Dutch masters recorded a 2-1 victory over Ferenc Puskas' Real Madrid in the European Cup. Unfortunately, the Royal club exacted their revenge two weeks later, giving Feyenoord a 5-0 footballing lesson in the Spanish capital.
However, just a few years later, they enjoyed a period of unparalleled success. The date 6 May 1970 would go down in history as the day Feyenoord Rotterdam first lifted the European Champions Cup after a thrilling final in Milan, the club usurping Ajax Amsterdam as the first Dutch representatives to win the trophy. Feyenoord celebrated a 2-1 victory over Glasgow Celtic after 120 pulsating minutes in Milan's San Siro stadium, the winning goal coming courtesy of Ove Kindvall in the 117th minute.
The Dutch team played their way into the hearts of all football fans with technically perfect football masterminded by the unforgettable coach Ernst Happel. Thousands of fans celebrated through the night as they returned from Milan to Rotterdam on four special trains while countless others followed events avidly on television before providing the players with a memorable reception on their triumphant return to Rotterdam.
The remainder of 1970 was characterised by highs and lows. There was bitter disappointment when the European champions' defence of their title ended in the first round after 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Romania's UT Arad. However, those wounds were healed when Feyenoord overcame Estudiantes de la Plata (2-2 and 1-0) to claim the Intercontinental Cup and end a rollercoaster period on a high note.
Feyenoord Rotterdam lifted the UEFA Cup for the first time in 1974 defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. A ten-year drought would follow before the Rotterdam club added another Dutch Championship in 1984 and went on to complete the Double. Amsterdam's Johan Cruyff had proven that he was far from over the hill, though he could not inspire a new era of success for a club desperately clinging to past glories.
At the beginning of the 1990s, it was two of the club's heroes of 1970, Wim Jansen and Wim van Hanegem, who restored Feyenoord to winning ways. Feyenoord won four Dutch Cups between 1991 and 1995, and celebrated their 13th of 14 domestic Championships in 1993. The final league title was added in 1999, while the most recent international success came in the form of a 2002 UEFA Cup victory over Borussia Dortmund on home soil at the De Kuip Stadium, man-of-the-match Pierre van Hooijdonk scoring twice. Coincidentally, the successful coach Bert van Marwijk is now at the helm with Dortmund.