PRE-SEASON PROFILES: Feyenoord

By SFC Media time Tue 30 Jun First team

Southampton’s final friendly before their first competitive fixture of the season comes against Feyenoord, who Ronald Koeman’s side face on Thursday 23rd July at De Kuip.

The club, founded in 1908 as Wilhelmina, has been one of the most successful clubs in the Netherlands over the years, winning 14 Eredivisie titles, 11 KNVB Cups and two Johan Cruijff Shields.

Saints boss Koeman spent three years as manager of the Dutch club before his move to Southampton in the summer of 2014, while he also ended his successful playing career at Feyenoord.

The Rotterdam outfit had an indifferent season following Koeman’s departure from the club, finishing fourth in the table but missing out on Europa League qualification through the play-offs.

Fred Rutten was the man who replaced Koeman, but following a 3-0 loss to PEC Zwolle that caused Feyenoord to miss out on directly qualifying for the Europa League, he was fired.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who worked alongside Koeman during his time at De Kuip, was the man chosen to take charge ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

Feyenoord have finished in the top four in each of the last four seasons following a tenth-placed finish in 2011, while their last league title was won in 1999.

The club, along with Ajax and PSV, has never been relegated from the Eredivisie since its inception in 1952.

The Dutch club won the European Cup in 1970, beating Scottish side Celtic in the final, while they also won the UEFA Cup in 1973/74 and again in 2001/02.

Their last major silverware was won in 2008 when they lifted the KNVB Cup thanks to a 2-0 win against Roda JC at De Kuip. That success came the season after Koeman’s brother Erwin had left the club following two years in charge.

Erwin joined Feyenoord in 2005, but left after a seventh-placed finish in the Eredivisie during the 2006/07 campaign.

It’s not just Koeman brothers who have links to Feyenoord. Striker Graziano Pellè spent two seasons at the club, scoring an impressive 55 goals in his 66 appearances in all competitions.

Saints supporters will be aware of a number of the Dutch side’s players. Dirk Kuyt, who spent six seasons with Liverpool, Karim El Ahmadi, who played for Aston Villa between 2012 and 2014, and Colin Kazim-Richards, who had a number of spells at different English clubs, are all currently under contract with Feyenoord.

Saints met Feyenoord in an away pre-season friendly 14 years ago, with the Dutch club running out 1-0 winners, but the two sides have never met in a competitive fixture.

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