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De Klassieker
The Classic 600 400 Toni

The Classic

Today is the day, the much-discussed and undisputed classic. A battle that is separate from all competitions. A competition in itself. A match between two arch rivals. But above all a match between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, a match between the noses and the cockroaches or, the match between 010 and 020.

City battle

I’ll be clear right away, I have an absolute preference. I am a Feyenoord supporter in heart and soul, and that will never go away. No blood flows through my veins, but Maaswater. Although I was not born in Rotterdam, I feel more at home in Rotterdam than in the city where I was born. Rotterdam is more than a place. Rotterdam and Feyenoord is more of a feeling for me.

The battle that rages between the supporters has always been there in my experience, and the teasing around these games will always be there and always will be. And that makes sense, because the differences are immense. The differences between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the differences between the mentality of the Rotterdammer and Amsterdammer, and also the differences between Feyenoord and Ajax.


So what exactly are those differences? The differences are so great that if you miss them, you’re probably as blind as Danny and Daley at the same time. Rotterdammers are rolling up their sleeves and don’t talk but brush. Sober, Anti and so direct that it is often seen as blunt. Incidentally, an Amsterdammer hardly lives in Amsterdam anymore, because only three out of ten people born in Amsterdam still live in Amsterdam.

The Amsterdammer is known as an open person, although there are also plenty of Amsterdammers who talk about Amsterdam Bluff, which is seen as Amsterdam arrogance in the rest of the Netherlands. ‘We are Ajax, we are the best’, is perhaps one of the most pronounced lines that is literally hated in the rest of the Netherlands, read outside of Amsterdam and surrounding areas. And that comes from somewhere!


Let’s be honest, if you look at history, Ajax has won the most titles, and has often been much more successful in Europe. There is nothing to say about that. Even if you look at the players that the club has produced, they are of course names. Think of a Marco van Basten, think of a Dennis Bergkamp, but of course especially Johan Cruyff.

There is of course something to be said about the latter, because Cruyff has of course also played at Feyenoord. And how. He made Feyenoord champion that year. But why did he actually go to Feyenoord? The story of the step that Johan Cruyff took to play with Ajax’s arch-rival still hurts many Ajax-supporters. Cruyff had a problem with Ajax and decided to go to another club. He came to Feyenoord. For one reason: to become champion with Feyenoord, and the reason was simple: If he won the title with Feyenoord, Ajax would certainly not win the title. And so it happened. His death was therefore certainly felt in Rotterdam.

The Classic

The classic is, as I mentioned before, a competition in itself. And that too is fanaticism: every club wants to beat Ajax, and that feeling is predominant in Rotterdam. The most fanatical Feyenoord supporters, of which I was one for years, were often already waiting for the Ajax supporters in front of the cockpit. And that often went hard against hard, and so often in the stadium itself, and outside it, such as in Beverwijk on March 23, 1997.

It has ultimately ensured that the police and politicians have decided to allow these matches to be played without an audience from now on. Logical as it may be, I still think it’s a pity, because that classic has never been the same again, the supporters of Ajax belong to the classic in the away-section of the Kuip and that’s how the Feyenoord supporters in the away-section of the Arena belong to this loaded match.

I hope everyone enjoys this classic today. But I still hope that the Feyenoord supporters enjoy today a little more than the supporters of that club from 020.