The Ancient Greeks are ‘playing’ Dutch football

With this original idea the people in charge of Dutch soccer wanted to connect their sport with the culture of ancient Greece. Specifically heroes such as Hercules, Ajax, Xerxes but also the city of Sparta, have all been a source of inspiration for football clubs in the Netherlands. The clubs have borrowed elements from these heroes and cities, and used them in names and emblems of local clubs.  Below some examples:




One of the most historic clubs in Europe, the AFC Ajax based in Amsterdam, chose to associate the history of the team, with that of the King of Salamis and hero of the Trojan war Ajax of Telamon. Both the name and the emblem of the club are inspired by this legendary hero.




In the northeast of the country, in the city of Almelo, the local team, fascinated by the 12 labors of the legendary Greek hero, decided to name the team Hercules and to use an image of him in their emblem, hoping that they would be blessed by his strength and heroism.




Like modern day Spartans, the players of this Rotterdam group, fight like heroes for each match. Sparta is the oldest Dutch football team from Rotterdam  (1888) and was the first team in the country that used an ancient Greek name for themselves.




Finally, one of the least known stories is that of Xerxes Rotterdam team. The club plays in lower divisions of the national championship and chose the mythical king of Persia and the blue and white colors in their flag, clearly influenced by the Greeks vs. Persians battles.


Sports connect cultures and in this case the link made was quite successful, as it brings a bit of ancient Greek heroism in the Dutch football teams.


 Vasilis Vagionas

 Student of Journalism and Media AUTH

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