23
Dec

NAC players join fans in pitchside Jacuzzi after win

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

A time of holiday cheer and winter wonderlands. A time for presents, Christmas cookies and Chanukah candles. A time for relaxation and diversion, with no shortage of football games to keep you company while huddling up next to a cozy fire. A time where fans and players can join together and celebrate the season … in jacuzzis?

This weekend in the Dutch Eredivisie, our favorite football league here on the blog (exhibit A and B), three lucky NAC Breda fans got to watch their team play Cambuur Leeuwarden in a field-level hot tub after having won a charity auction.

Sporting Santa hats, flippers and snorkels, the fans had a jolly ol’ time watching their relegation-threatened team win the match 1-0. To top it all off, several of NAC’s players then spotted the jacuzzi and decided to jump in to celebrate!

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imageGetty Images

Let’s hope this becomes a thing.

19
Oct

Dutch master Sneijder wanted by title hopefuls Chelsea

Wes Sneijder is wanted by Chelsea. An ordinary run-of-the-mill piece of gossip, but this one has a little more substance to it. Why so? Because those words came from the mouth of none other than Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal. Let’s see what happens in January. Click here for more of the best rumors around in today’s edition of Paper Chase.

14
Oct

Four direct berths, playoff spots in balance as UEFA WCQ comes to a close

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Expect plenty of drama and turmoil to unfold as Europe concludes the group phase of its World Cup qualifying efforts on Tuesday.

Most of the heavy hitters have either locked up a place in Brazil or situated themselves properly to claim one ahead of the last round of fixtures. Several prominent sides – including England and Spain – still need a result to guarantee a direct berth, while other countries – ranging from the usual suspects in France and Portugal to potential first-timers Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland – must obtain results to either finish in top spot or seal a place in the playoffs next month.

Here is a look at the state of play heading into a decisive day across the continent:

Qualified: Belgium (Group A), Italy (Group B), Germany (Group C), Netherlands (Group D), Switzerland (Group E)

Into the playoffs: Croatia (Group A), Sweden (Group C)

Assured of a direct berth or a playoff spot, depending on results: Bosnia-Herzegovina (Group G), France (Group I), England (Group H), Greece (Group G), Portugal (Group F), Russia (Group F), Spain (Group I)

Group A: Nothing to see here with Belgium (qualified) and Croatia (playoffs) already confirmed as the top two.

Group B: Italy has already booked its place in Brazil. Bulgaria (13 points, +6 GD), Denmark (13 points, -1 GD), Czech Republic (12 points, +3 GD) and Armenia (12 points, -1 GD) remain in contention for second place, but the low point haul and the smattering of the results here and elsewhere means not one of the four sides is likely to qualify for the playoff as one of the top-eight finishers (only the results against the top five teams in the group count in that convoluted table).

Bulgaria hosts the Czechs (already eliminated from playoff contention based on results) in Sofia with a chance to claim second place. If the Bulgarians falter, then Denmark will almost certainly top them given their task at home to bottom side Malta. Armenia must win in Italy and then hope for some help along the way.
 

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13
Oct

Edgar Davids elbows opponent in the face, victim left needing skin graft

Image courtesy of Reuters

He’s always been a little temperamental, but Edgar Davids has taken it another step this weekend.

Not one to hide from the limelight, Dutch maestro Davids joined struggling side Barnet, who languish in the lower echelons of English league football. He couldn’t save them from relegation that season but, to much surprise, remained with the club in his player-manager capacity.

In one of his not-so-finest moments however, Davids lost his cool during a 20-man brawl against Wrexham on Sunday.

Image courtesy of Reuters

Deputizing at centerback, Davids — who insists his Barnet players call him “Mister”, and has ensured that he wears the no.1 shirt at the club — swung a wild elbow at former Liverpool defender Stephen Wright, leaving the victim needing a skin graft.

Despite a career littered with red cards, tough tackles and combative play, perhaps ‘Pitbull’ has gone a little too far this time.

12
Oct

Record breaker! Van Persie overtakes Dutch legend Kluivert

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Oranjeboom! Robin van Persie became the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer by scoring a hat-trick in the 8-1 annihilation of Hungary in Friday’s World Cup qualifier. Those three goals gave him 41 in an Oranje shirt,so who better to celebrate with than the man whose record you’ve just equaled?

Van Persie leapt into the awaiting arms of the Netherlands’ assistant manager Patrick Kluivert when he drew level with the former Dutch striker’s record of 40 goals with a great header from Arjen Robben’s cross to give his side a 4-0 lead. 

Van Persie then went one better when he latched on to Robben’s cushioned header for his third. This time RVP decided to celebrate with his teammates and leave PK to look on in admiration.     

10
Oct

#TBT: Clarence Seedorf’s thunderous strike at the Bernabeu

Image courtesy of Reuters

Widely regarded as one of the most underrated Dutch footballers of all-time, Clarence Seedorf’s days with Real Madrid will always be remembered in a positive light, helping Los Blancos claim La Liga and Champions League crowns during his first three seasons with the club.

Yet for all of his time with the Santiago Bernabeu outfit, the former Ajax and Netherlands standout can always fallback to his jaw-dropping golazo against Real rival Atletico Madrid during the 1997-98 campaign:

28
Sep

USMNT’s Aron Johansson scores superb match-winner vs PSV

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Photo: Getty Images

Aron Johansson was a relatively unknown commodity to most Americans when he declared his intention to play for the US men’s national team this summer. But now, Johansson is starting to raise more than a few eyebrows after getting off to a hot start to the season with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar (Jozy Altidore’s former club).

The Icelandic-American striker has already amassed eight goals in all competitions this season, the latest of which was this stunning, match-winning golazo against Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven:

Bet that’ll put a smile on Jurgen Klinsmann’s face.

H/T Big Lead

16
Aug

Training Ground Collision Leaves Dirk Kuyt a Mess

Dirk Kuyt must have legions of female fans across the world who appreciate his stunning good looks, but they might want to reconsider following a training ground run-in with Dutch teammate Jonathan De Guzman. And by run-in we mean it was like two derailed trains smashing into one another.

Training prior to the Dutch side’s friendly against Portugal this week, the players collided head-on during a drill, making both miss the friendly and perhaps even their club teams’ next match. Poor Dirk Kuyt looks like he came away from it a little worse:

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Ouch!

(Via: WAATP)

19
Jul

10 Questions: Jozy Altidore talks Premier League, Di Canio and more

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By Leander Schaerlaeckens, FOXSoccer.com

On July 5, Jozy Altidore sealed his transfer from AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands to Sunderland of the Barclays Premier League. The Black Cats will be the 23-year-old’s seventh club. His reported transfer fee of $13 million broke his own American record of the $10 million Villarreal paid the New York Red Bulls in 2008. On Friday, FOX Soccer caught up with Altidore to chat about his transfer and the reasoning behind the move:

FOX Soccer: During your last spell in the Premier League with Hull City in the 2009-10 season, you faced a steep learning curve. Do you think you’re better prepared this time around?

Jozy Altidore: “I don’t think it’s about being better prepared. Looking back on it, I think I was the number one striker on that team, not the greatest team in the world, I was always going to be up against it. It wasn’t easy. Now I’ve played in Europe more, I think I’m a little bit of a different type of player now than I was when I was 19 years old.”

FS: You matured rapidly with AZ. How did that help shape your career?

JA: “Just being there and training every single player day was good, you learned every single day. It was a really good two years for me, in every aspect. Just becoming a target man became a bit more natural for me.”

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11
Jul

Born to lead

During pre-season, teams start preparing for the upcoming year: work off the rust, shine up their boots and get ready for their opener. Well, it’s also a good time for the fans to get in a little practice, too.

During PSV’s 3-0 pre-season win over Eindhoven FC, a group of supporters gave a young fan the chance to test out his pipes. He sits atop a man’s shoulders and leads the crowd of rowdy fans in a raucous chant.

He didn’t certainly need a megaphone to make his voice heard. It wouldn’t be surprising if this kid makes a few more appearances leading the PSV fans during the upcoming season.