This week, in honour of our pedalling fundraiser from the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient, to Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena, we asked Zonal Marking's football guru, Michael Cox, to test us with his Dutch football quiz.
How did you get on? Check the answers below, and click here to register your interest for our London to Amsterdam cycle.
Answer: Roy Makaay
Makaay had an excellent four-year spell with Deportivo La Coruna – scoring 78 goals – and fared similarly well at Bayern Munich, yet isn’t regarded as one of the finest Dutch strikers of recent years.
He’s still in fine company as a European Golden Shoe winner though: only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Diego Forlan, Luca Toni and Francesco Totti have won it since Makaay.
He wasn’t a one-season wonder, either – he reached double figures in 11 consecutive league seasons (five in Spain, four in Germany, two in Holland) – a record few other modern strikers can match.
Answer: nine - Van der Sar (Fulham and Man Utd), Reiziger (Middlesbrough), Bogarde (Chelsea), De Boer (Rangers), Witschge (Blackburn), Cruyff (Man Utd), Bergkamp (Arsenal), Hoekstra (Stoke), Kluivert (Newcastle).
Surprisingly, Bergkamp was the only player who played in Britain at the time.
The most difficult answer is probably Witschge, who played one game on loan at Blackburn in 1995 – which technically means he won the Premier League, even if he didn’t receive a medal. Hoekstra is also easy to overlook, as he played in the second and third tiers with Stoke.
Bogarde’s career in England is the most infamous. He was signed for Chelsea by Gianluca Vialli on a four-year, £40,000-a-week contract, but Claudio Ranieri soon replaced his smooth-headed compatriot and had no place for Bogarde. The defender refused to move, despite playing only nine league games in four years, and started commuting from Holland each day for training. “Why should I throw fifteen million euros away when it is already mine?” he said. “The moment I signed, it was my money, my contract.” Unfortunately, Bogarde spent his millions poorly, and recent reports suggest he’s been declared bankrupt and forced out of his mansion.
Answer: Louis van Gaal (AZ Alkmaar, 2008-09), Steve McClaren (FC Twente, 2009-10)
The shock triumphs occurred back-to-back: in 2008-09 AZ won the league under Van Gaal, who has also taken charge of Ajax, Barcelona, Holland and Bayern Munich. The nature of their victory was particularly impressive – they won the title by 11 points, despite losing their first two games of the campaign. At one point, they kept 11 clean sheets in a row.
A year later McClaren took FC Twente to their first-ever title. They triumphed by just one point ahead of Ajax, for whom Suárez had scored 35 goals in 33 games. Both Van Gaal and McClaren departed for the Bundesliga immediately after their successes – Van Gaal to Bayern, McClaren to Wolfsburg. For managers as well as players, the Eredivisie is seen as a springboard to bigger things.
Answer: Kiki Musampa
Yep, it's Kiki 'Chris' Musampa, who was removed at half-time and replaced by Patrick Kluivert. He was just 18 at the time, and never emulated his illustrious teammates: he was the only one of that side who failed to become an international. He was called up to the Dutch squad while at Manchester City, but was never capped.
Answer: Martin Jol (Tottenham and Fulham), Ruud Gullit (Chelsea and Newcastle), Guus Hiddink (Chelsea), Rene Meulensteen (Fulham).
Jol is way out in front, with nearly 200 league games as manager of Tottenham and Fulham. Gullit, the first Dutch manager in the division, took charge of almost 100 Premier League games with Chelsea and Newcastle.
Two managers are tied for third and fourth place. Hiddink’s successful spell with Chelsea in 2008-09 was over the course of 13 league games; exactly the same amount Meulensteen was given at Fulham, in a rather unhappier situation.
Take Michael Cox's Dutch football quiz, and sign up for our London to Amsterdam cycle.