Jonathan Reis: A Cautionary Tale for Would-be Ronaldos

By Kristian Heneage

For some players, their story is written on the pitch, hero or villain, infamy or inspiration, their career is defined by what they produce on the field. Brazilian striker Jonathan Reis has not been so fortunate. A player that seemed at one point destined to succeed compatriots Romario and Ronaldo as PSV Eindhoven’s star Brazilian, too much of his career has been spent trying to beat his demons rather than defenders. 

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Moroccan starlet Oussama Assaidi of Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen is caught offside, so he decides to just ring up the style points. So Smooooooooth.

Vilhena ready for the next stage after emerging from Feyenoord's fountain of talent

By Mohamed Moallim

Ask a manager about the value of camaraderie and you could be there for a while. Ronald Koeman is no different, his situation unique to most, is common within the Netherlands, and even then it’s different. No better demonstration this season and explicitly in Feyenoord’s recent game against FC Twente. It would end goalless, but the headline was already written, one that embodies the clubs resurgence heavily characterised by a youthful feel.

When it comes to youth football the Rotterdammers are at the forefront, their academy Varkenoord – reinvigorated by club icon Wim Jansen first as manager then as technical advisor – been voted three years running as best in the Netherlands. It’s this coupled with talents given a chance at first team level – averaging seven graduates starting per game – that has eroded fears of losing them before a professional contract can be presented (see Karim Rekik and Nathan Aké). Those waiting to break through can look to the Twente game.

Koeman, who arrived in the summer of 2011 with reputation as a champion of youth development, started with four of the clubs brightest recent graduates: The Four Musketeers. It was their first ever appearance together; Jordy Clasie the most experienced, and Feyenoord’s metronome, flanked by wingers Jean-Paul Boëtius and Anass Achahbar and mercurial talent Tonny Vilhena alongside in midfield.

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Above: The Dutch team celebrates their win, with a triumphant Ruud Gullit holding the cup. Below that, topscorer of the tournament with five goals, Marco van Basten. 

While the Dutch are playing dismally at this year’s UEFA European Football Championship, that has not always been the case. In fact, in 1988 they won the entire tournament. And in 2010, they lost in the finals to Spain, so they’re meant to be 2nd best of the world. I’ve no idea why they’re so rubbish this year.

They lost to the Soviet Union in the group phase, but beat England with 3 - 1 and the Republic of Ireland with 1 - 0. The Dutch team beat West Germany in the semi-finals with 2 - 1, then met the Soviet Union in the finals, this time beating them with 2 - 0.

You may have noticed that there’s no mention of quarter finals. That’s because there weren’t any. Only eight countries competed at the time.