Definition of De Klassieker

Teams in the Netherlands haven't had the spotlight much in the 21st century with the exception of Ajax's Champions League run in 2019. However, that hasn't stopped the rivalry between the Amsterdam club and the Rotterdam-based Feyenoord.

The competition between these two cities is much older than football, dating back to when they both got their city rights in the 13th century. Amsterdam has long been a city of artists, with their play reflecting the free-flowing attack. On the flip side, Rotterdam has traditionally been a city of hard workers who feel that Ajax is too haughty in their style.

On the pitch, there is a pretty clear difference in terms of the success. It is hard to match up to Ajax's dominance over the years, as they are the most successful team in the Netherlands. However, both teams saw large success in the 70s, being dominant forces in Europe. During this period, Ajax won 3 European Cups and an Intercontinental Cup. Meanwhile Feyenoord continuously competed with them, winning a European Cup, Intercontinental Cup and UEFA Cup.

There has also been a fair amount of violence over the years alongside the success of the clubs. Even as hooliganism across Europe has mostly decreased since the 20th century, it seems the opposite has happened in De Klassieker. Even as recently as 2019, Ajax fans have attacked the bus of the Feyenoord U19s. In 2016, Feyenoord fans were suspected (but never convicted) of burning down an Ajax clubhouse.

The rivalry is alive and well, though the success continues to be in Ajax's favour. Clearly that hasn't stopped the fans from displaying their passion in any sort of way they can. How socially acceptable that behaviour is can certainly be debated.