In the Netherlands, a football/soccer match is always quite an event. Almost every city has their own team, which the fans support most passionately. The best teams of the country play in a league. They all play against each other two times, once home and once away. When you want to watch a match, you can buy a single ticket or you can buy a stadium card. This card will give you access to all the matches the club plays in its own stadium.
The Eindhoven region has some football clubs playing in the premier league (eredivisie) and some playing in the first division (eerste divisie).
PSV was founded in 1913 during a big sporting party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Dutch Independence Day. It started as the team of the Philips factory and entered the Dutch competition in 1915. In less than 10 years, the club made it to the top of Dutch football. During the 95 years of its existence, the club has been National Champion for 21 times, and won the Super Cup (renamed the Johan Cruijf Schaal) 8 times! In 1978, PSV won the UEFA Cup, and in 1988 the European Cup 1. As you can imagine, PSV is an internationally famous and respected football club. The people in Eindhoven are very proud of PSV. Among the world-famous players that used to play at PSV are Gullit, Koeman, Vanenburg, Lerby, Kieft, Romario, Ronaldo, Cocu, Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Simons, Gomes, Robben, and Van Bommel. At PSV, they developed into international top-class players. Many of these players also played in the Dutch National team. The club definitely has maintained its multicultural, international image by attracting players like Ooijer, Salcido, Méndez, and Isaksson. You can experience the PSV feeling on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, when the team is playing in their own stadium. The streets around the stadium are full with people, excited about the match to come. After the match, the police closes most streets leading to and from the stadium to traffic, so the supporters can walk freely to the train or bus station.
This Eindhoven club does not play in the premier league but in the first division. It was founded in 1909; at the time, the name was EVV, a combination of two Eindhoven clubs: Sparta and Eindhovia. FC Eindhoven is not as big as PSV, but it does have its own stadium and their matches are worth watching because first division football is also high-level football.
For tickets and more information: 040 - 211 29 67
Running / (nordic) walking
A marathon is held in Eindhoven every year. This is a big event with around 17,000 participants and 160,000 spectators. It takes place every year on the second Sunday of October. The full marathon is 42 km, the half marathon 21 km, the city run 6 km, and the mini marathon 3 km. The event largely takes place in the city centre where a lively music festival encourages and entertains both runners and spectators. A considerable part of the city will not be reachable by car, so get on your bike and enjoy the atmosphere! Information: www.marathoneindhoven.nl
Although the Nijmeegse 4-daagse isn't an event that takes place in the Southeast Netherlands, it's worth mentioning because it's the biggest and most well known walking event in the Netherlands. In 4 days, the participants walk 120, 160 or 200 kilometers, divided in courses of 30, 40 or 50 kilometers per day. The celebrations on Friday, the last day of the 4-daagse are famous as well. Yearly the city of Nijmegen is host to over a hundredthousand visitors and tourists and the interest in the Nijmeegse 4-daagse is still increasing among spectators and participants.
The International Concours Hippique Eindhoven takes place annually during the Ascension weekend. The event at the Karpendonk Park is known for its varied programme, which apart from horse riding also offers a dog show, a Ladies Day with a hat parade in Ascot style, an exhibition of old-timer cars, and a traditional carriage ride through the city. The average amount of visitors is 75,000. Admission to the Concour Hippique is free.
In Eindhoven, national international swimming contests are organised at the national swimming centre. Various professional swimmers come here to train or compete. For tickets for the events taking place in 2009, check www.seatwave.com
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