Sparta Rotterdam

Sparta Rotterdam (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈspɑrtaː ˌrɔtərˈdɑm]) is a Dutch professional football club based in Rotterdam. Established on 1 April 1888, Sparta Rotterdam is the oldest professional football team in the Netherlands.

Sparta Rotterdam
Sparta Rotterdam logo.svg
Full nameSparta Rotterdam
Nickname(s)De Kasteelheren
(The Castle Lords)
De Rood-Witte Gladiatoren (The Red-White Gladiators)
Founded1 April 1888; 134 years ago (1888-04-01)
GroundHet Kasteel (The Castle)
ChairmanLeo Ruijs
Head coachMaurice Steijn
2021–22Eredivisie, 14th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Sparta currently compete in the Eredivisie, the top flight of Dutch professional football, which they have won 6 times, having earned promotion from the Eerste Divisie in 2018–19. The club is one of three professional football clubs from Rotterdam, the others being Excelsior (est. 1902) and Feyenoord (est. 1908).


Sparta Rotterdam vs Blackpool F.C., Aug. 1957

On 1 April 1888, several students from Rotterdam founded a cricket club called Rotterdamsche Cricket & Football Club Sparta. In July 1888, a football branch of the club was established. In 1890, Sparta played its first real football match, and in 1892 Sparta disbanded the cricket branch. Sparta was promoted to the highest league of Dutch football on 23 April 1893. In 1897, Sparta withdrew from the competition after continuous dubious arbitration of Sparta matches. The club continued to exist, however, and in 1899 the board of Sparta visited a match of Sunderland. Impressed with the red-and-white jersey of the English club, the board decided that Sunderland's colours (red-white striped jersey, black shorts) would henceforth be the colours of Sparta.

In 1905, Sparta initiated and organised the first home match of the Netherlands national team, against Belgium. The match, won 4–0 by the Netherlands, was a rematch of a game two weeks prior, when the Netherlands beat Belgium 4–1 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The first match at Sparta's new stadium, Het Kasteel (The Castle), in the Spangen area of west Rotterdam, was played on 14 October 1916. The stadium was renovated in 1999 and is still Sparta's stadium.

Until the 2002–03 season, Sparta had always played at the highest level, but after they appointed the former international player Frank Rijkaard as a manager they were relegated from the top-level Eredivisie in 2002. That made Rijkaard resign from his position.[1] Sparta returned to the Eredivisie for the 2005–06 season. They were relegated again in 2010. On 20 August 2010, they equalled Ajax's and Heracles Almelo's Dutch league record win when they defeated Almere City 12–1[2] with Johan Voskamp scoring an Eerste Divisie record 8 goals on his debut.[3]

After six years in the Eerste Divisie, Sparta again won promotion to the Eredivisie in April 2016 after a 3–1 win over Jong Ajax won them an unassailable lead over second placed VVV-Venlo.[4] However, they were relegated for the third time in their history in May 2018 after they were beaten 1–3 on aggregate by FC Emmen in the promotion/relegation play-offs. The result proved to be a historical one since Emmen won their first ever promotion to the Eredivisie.[5]

Sparta has won six national titles (1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915 and 1959) and three national cups (1958, 1962 and 1966).

Meuse/Scheldt CupEdit

The best footballers of Rotterdam and Antwerp contested a yearly match between 1909 and 1959 for the Meuse- and Scheldt Cup (Maas- en Schelde Beker). It was agreed to play the game at stadium Het Kasteel in Rotterdam and at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp. The cup was provided in 1909 by Kees van Hasselt from Rotterdam and P. Havenith from Antwerp.

Youth programEdit

The Sparta Jeugdopleiding (English: Sparta Youth Academy) is a four-star certified youth academy and amongst the strongest in the nation, having won the national academy of the year award on several occasions.[6] Several International footballers have progressed through the ranks of the academy, including Danny Blind, Danny Koevermans, David Mendes da Silva, Ed de Goey, Winston Bogarde, Memphis Depay, Henk Fräser, Jan van Beveren, Georginio Wijnaldum, Anwar El Ghazi, Jetro Willems, John de Wolf, Kevin Strootman, Rick van Drongelen and Nick Viergever, Marten de Roon amongst others.[7]



1908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1958–59
1957–58, 1961–62, 1965–66
1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1925, 1929, 1953, 1956


  • Rotterdam Easter Tournament

Runners-up (2): 1934, 1948[8]

Domestic resultsEdit

EredivisieEerste DivisieEredivisieEerste DivisieEredivisieEerste DivisieEredivisie

Below is a table with Sparta Rotterdam's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

Sparta in EuropeEdit

  • Q = Qualifying Round
  • 1R = First round
  • 2R = Second round
  • 3R = Third round
  • 1/4 = Quarter-final
Season Competition Round Club Score
1959–60 European Cup 1R   IFK Göteborg 3–1, 1–3, 3–1
1/4   Rangers 2–3, 1–0, 2–3
1962–63 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Q   Lausanne-Sport 0–3, 4–2
1966–67 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Floriana 1–1, 6–0
2R   Servette 0–2, 1–0
1970–71 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1R   ÍA Akranes 6–0, 9–0
2R   Coleraine 2–0, 2–1
3R   Bayern Munich 1–2, 1–3
1971–72 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Levski-Spartak 1–1, 2–0
2R   Red Star Belgrade 1–1, 1–2
1983–84 UEFA Cup 1R   Coleraine 4–0, 1–1
2R   Carl Zeiss Jena 3–2, 1–1
3R   Spartak Moscow 1–1, 0–2
1985–86 UEFA Cup 1R   Hamburger SV 2–0, 0–2 (4–3 n.p.)
2R   Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–1, 1–5

Current squadEdit

As of 1 February 2022[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   NGA Maduka Okoye (on loan from Watford)
GK   NED Benjamin van Leer
GK   NED Tim Coremans
DF   BEL Michaël Heylen
DF   NED Bart Vriends
DF   NED Tom Beugelsdijk
DF   NED Augustin Drakpe
DF   DEN Riza Durmisi (on loan from Lazio)
DF   LUX Mica Pinto
DF   LUX Laurent Jans
DF   NED Dirk Abels
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF   NED Dirk Abels
DF   NED Aaron Meijers
MF   NED Adil Auassar (captain)
MF   NED Sven Mijnans
MF   NED Joeri de Kamps (on loan from Slovan Bratislava)
MF   BEL Arno Verschueren (on loan from Lommel)
MF   DEN Younes Namli (on loan from Krasnodar)
FW   GER Mario Engels
FW   NED Vito van Crooij
FW   GER Lennart Thy
FW   ESP Adrián Dalmau

Reserve squadEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   NED Jomar Gomes
GK   SUR Ishan Kort
GK   NED Rijk Janse
GK   NED Finn Murre
DF   TOG Augustin Drakpe
DF   MAR Farouq Limouri
DF   NED Jeremy van Mullem
DF   NED Tariq Dilrosun
DF   NED Gaultiér Overman
DF   NED Jay den Haan
DF   NED Yanilio de Nooijer
DF   NED Joshua Adney
MF   NED Constantijn Schop
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   NED Delano Vianello
MF   NED Jason Meerstadt
MF   NED Jeremy Udenhout
MF   NED Dylan van Wageningen
MF   NED Patrick Brouwer
MF   NED Achraf Madi
MF   NED Marcus Scholten
FW   NED Marouane Afaker
FW   NED Mohamed el Karbachi
FW   NED Mike Frimpong
FW   NED Aaron Bashir
FW   NED Shairon de Wind
FW   MAR Mohammed Tahiri
FW   NED Pepijn Doesburg

Players out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   NED Abdou Harroui (at Sassuolo until 30 June 2022)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   NED Reda Kharchouch (at Emmen until 30 June 2022)

Former playersEdit

Former coachesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rijkaard quits at Sparta". 31 May 2002. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  2. ^ Sparta evenaart record Ajax en Heracles - De Telegraaf (in Dutch)
  3. ^ Acht treffers bij debuut - De Telegraaf (in Dutch)
  4. ^ Sparta Rotterdam terug in de eredivisie - NOS (in Dutch)
  5. ^ Emmen schrijft geschiedenis met promotie, Sparta degradeert uit eredivisie - AD (in Dutch)
  6. ^ "Jeugdopleiding Sparta beoordeeld met 4 sterren". Rijnmond TV. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Chloe (22 October 1995). "Exponenten uit de jeugdopleiding van Sparta Rotterdam". Sparta Jeugdopleiding. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Easter Tournaments Sparta (Rotterdam) 1934 and 1948".
  9. ^ "A-selectie | Sparta Rotterdam".

External linksEdit