Groningen

Founded In
1971
Location
Groningen, Netherlands

Groningen

About Groningen

Football Club Groningen was founded in 1971, as the reformation of previous Dutch league side Groningen Football and Athletics Association. Since its formation, the club has spent most of its time in Dutch football's top flight. The club's main rivals are Heerenveen, while Groningen also maintain rivalries with FC Twente and Ajax.

In 2006, the club came close to competing in Europe's premier competition for the first time. After finishing in 5th place in the Eredivisie, Groningen gained entry into the playoffs, where the winner would advance to the Champions League qualification stage. The team made it to the final of the playoffs, where they met their rivals, Ajax. Eventually, Groningen were beaten by an Ajax goal two minutes from the end of the match, dashing their homes. However, espite the loss, their 5th place finish still gained the club entry to the UEFA Europa League.

Major success has alluded FC Groningen thus far. The club's best ever league performance came in the 1990-91 season, when they finished 3rd in the Eredivisie. In European football, the team have never made it beyond the last 32 stage of the UEFA Cup.

Several notable players have represented Groningen over the years. During the 1980s, brothers Ronald and Erwin Koeman helped the club to qualify for European football for the first time. Jan van Dijk's time at the club, spanning from 1975-1992, earned him the nickname "Mr. FC Groningen" and he holds the record for most appearances for the side. Other notable talents to come through the ranks at Groningen include Dutch international Arjen Robben and Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez.

Groningen play their home matches at Euroborg, nicknamed The Green Hell due to its intimidating atmosphere. The stadium, which opened in 2006, currently holds a maximum capacity of 22,550, although there are plans to expand this to around 30,000 in the future.