Maligned over the past few years as a league on the slide, the Eredivisie is back in the limelight following Netherlands run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.

  • By Michael Bell
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wijbliNetherlands reliance on several players from the Eredivisie came under much scrutiny from the media before the tournament, and the Dutch were expected to struggle. However stars from Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV all played a major role as Netherlands came within a penalty shoot-out of making the final in Brazil.

The success of the national team has not only pushed a number of players into the radars of top clubs, but it has also rekindled interest in the Eredivisie, a league which has struggled to compete with the big European nations due to finances.

 

Eredivisie stars such as Jasper Cillessen, and Daley Blind of Ajax, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Jordy Clasie, and Daryl Janmaat of Feyenoord have all excelled in the national team, along with PSV’s Georginio Wijnaldum, and Memphis Depay.

All eight of these players have been linked with big clubs since starring at the World Cup, and many may well leave this summer, but they have all shown that the Eredivisie is not the weak league that many believed it was.

The Eredivisie has always been a breeding ground for the bigger leagues, and this summer is set to be no different. Southampton have already raided the league for Dusan Tadic, and Graziano Pelle, while top scorer from last season Alfred Finnbogason signed for La Liga side Real Sociedad. These players are all following in the footsteps of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Luis Suarez, and Wilfried Bony who have all used the Eredivisie as a stepping stone to other leagues.

While it is not ideal that clubs lose their stars nearly every season, the constant moving allows clubs to delve into their academies, and give youngsters a chance to prove themselves. This not only makes the league more intriguing, but also the national team stronger with players first team regulars at a young age.

There are definite signs that the Eredivisie has the capabilities of becoming a top league once again; Its young stars are competing at the highest stage, runners up at the U17 European Championships, and semi-finalists at the U21 Euros last year, while the division will now be streamed live in the UK every week thanks to a major deal with Sky Sports. This will not only bring in extra interest, but also more revenue, which is excellent for the smaller clubs.

Interest from those outside Netherlands in the Eredivisie has not been higher going into a season for years. Its now time for the league to reap the rewards.




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