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The History of PSV Eindhoven

Based in the Dutch city of Eindhoven and founded back in 1913, PSV are one of the most successful club sides in the Netherlands and an established footballing power worldwide.

The team have always played their home matches at the Philips Stadion. They have a long-standing rivalry with Ajax in particular. The club currently compete in the Eredivisie and have been part of the top flight since its inception in 1956.

PSV fans often call themselves ‘Boeren,’ which is a Dutch term for peasants or farmers, in recognition of their pride surrounding Eindhoven’s rural Brabantian heritage.

The club has a prestigious history consisting of two distinct golden eras, namely the period in which they won the 1978 UEFA Cup and the iconic treble winning season of 1987/88 that included a singular European Cup triumph.

PSV Eindhoven have currently lifted the Eredivisie Dutch league title a total of 24 times and the KNVB national cup on eleven occasions. Over numerous generations, the club have proved nurturers of potential world class talents such as Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman, Romário, Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Let’s explore the history of PSV Eindhoven.

Quick Facts


Full name Philips Sport Vereniging NV
Founded 31st August 1913
Nicknames Boeren (Peasants/Farmers)

Lampen (Lightbulbs)

Rood-witten (Red and whites)

Stadium Philips Stadion
Capacity 35,119
Honours Eredivisie (24)

KNVB Cup (11)

Johan Cruyff Shield (14)

European Cup (1) 1987/88

UEFA Cup (1) 1977/78

Korea Cup (1) 1983

Russian Railways Cup (1) 2007

In The Beginning

In 1910, a group of Philips employees formed a football team called The Philips Elftal or in English simply ‘The Philips Team.’

Its stadium initially became known as the Philips Sportpark and was located on the very same spot as the club’s present day ground – The Philips Stadion.

Financial issues and worker strikes meant that the original side disbanded but three years later in 1913, Philips Sport Vereniging or PSV as it became known by 1916, eventually emerged as an organisation.

The club’s inaugural match was played in 1915 with a 3-2 defeat to Willem II but they achieved promotion during their debut season to a newly created Dutch Third Division.

Between Two Wars

Over the course of the next three decades, PSV Eindhoven experienced moderate success in terms of honours and yet were far from the European powerhouse they’d become in later years.

Between the end of World War I and the conclusion of the second World War, the club won just two major honours across all competitions. They secured the 1928/29 league title, which at the time was the first ever domestic triumph for the club. It would take a further six campaigns until PSV won the league for a second time in 1935.

The 1950’s and 60’s

PSV were victorious in the KNVB Dutch cup during the final of 1950 and also claimed a third league triumph the following 1950/51 season.

In 1955, the club also became the first Dutch side to take part in the ‘European Champion Clubs’ Cup’ however the campaign was unsuccessful, across the two ties against Austrian side Rapid Wien they lost 7-1 on aggregate.

There were very few other success stories to speak of throughout the 1950s. However, a noteworthy achievement that remains is Coen Dillen’s 1956/57 season, when the Dutchman scored 43 goals – a national football record that still stands even today.

As the 1960’s dawned then the profile of PSV’s squad began to evolve. Whereas previously the majority of their players derived from the Brabantia region, the club now started to recruit from the breadth of the Netherlands.

Throughout the next two decades, newly appointed leading board member Ben van Gelder gradually began to transform PSV Eindhoven into a fully professional outfit and some success followed.

On the club’s 50-year anniversary, PSV embarked on their 1962/63 season, appointing Bram Appel as the new manager and in the process winning its fourth league title.

Sustained Success

During the 1970’s and 80’s, PSV Eindhoven experienced more consistent success. They convincingly beat NAC 6-0 to win the 1974 KNVB Cup which subsequently sparked the club into life.

The 1974/75 Eredivisie title arrived a year later as PSV overcame the challenge from rivals Feyenoord and the following season they lay claim to their first domestic double.

In 1978, the club impressively won the Eredivisie title without losing a game and then claimed the UEFA Cup by defeating French side Bastia.

PSV Eindhoven wouldn’t enjoy further glory until the mid-80’s. They bought players the likes of Ruud Gullit, Gerald Vanenburg, Søren Lerby and Eric Gerets, with Gullit quickly named as captain. PSV won four consecutive League titles from 1985 to 1989!

The Treble

The 1987/88 season was without doubt the finest in the history of PSV. They won the league with games to spare after finishing nine points ahead of closest challengers Ajax. The Eredivisie was captured a full four matches before the end of the campaign with the team scoring a remarkable 117 league goals.

They also claimed another KNVB Cup following a 3-2 victory against Roda JC after extra time. Yet their European Cup run proved to be the crowning glory. The final versus Benfica finished 0-0 yet PSV Eindhoven became champions after the penalty shootout to complete an historic treble.

But the Dutch side didn’t rest on their laurels, instead going on to make one of their boldest and sensational moves yet.


Following the club’s European Cup win, PSV Eindhoven announced the signing of a promising striker named Romario in 1988. It was a daring decision for the Brazilian to leave South America for Europe.

But Romario proved relentless, excelling in the Eredivisie and during his first campaign scored a solid 19 league goals. Over his next five seasons with PSV, the club were crowned Dutch league champions three times, Romario scoring 165 goals in 167 games across all competitions.

The Brazilian was awarded Eredivisie top scorer across three consecutive seasons from 1989 to 1991. He remains only the third Brazilian to achieve this record alongside fellow countryman Ronaldo in 1994/95 and SC Heerenveen’s Alfonso Alves during 2006/07.

The End Of The 20th Century

With Romario’s arrival, PSV Eindhoven continued their impressive thirst for trophies. The 1988/89 season saw them claim a double. Alongside another Eredivisie league title they also beat Groningen to lift the KNVB Cup. The following 1989/90 season brought another Dutch cup as they defeated Vitesse 1-0 in the final.

Majestic Manager Gus Hiddink left the club in 1990 and was replaced by Bobby Robson. In his two seasons at the club, PSV secured two league titles; the first one on goal difference versus Ajax and the second confirmed in the penultimate match against Groningen.

Yet ultimately a lack of European success resulted in Robson’s departure by 1992. It would be five more years until PSV tasted success again.

Leading up to the 1996/97 season, coach Dik Advocaat created a team of exciting players with the likes of Boudewijn Zenden, Phillip Cocu, Wim Jonk and Jaap Stam all establishing themselves.

In the final season of the 20th century, the 1999-2000 campaign will be largely remembered for Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 29 goals in just 23 matches. PSV were crowned league champions after opening up a 16-point gap over runner-up Heerenveen.

A New Millennium

The dawn of a fresh century brought a wealth of success to PSV Eindhoven as the club went on to win eight major honours in as many campaigns.

They secured the Eredivisie league title in 2000 and 2001 but lost the latter season’s cup final to Twente following defeat on penalties.

Quality players arrived at the club during the mid-2000’s including Arjen Robben, Lee Young-pyo and Park Ji-sung. In 2004, the club won its eighth KNVB Cup by convincingly defeating Willem II 4-0 in the final.

An effective and powerful squad continued to further develop with Heurelho Gomes, Alex, Mark van Bommel and the returning Phillip Cocu forging a very formidable side. PSV Eindhoven won four consecutive league titles between 2004 and 2008.

Recent Years

The beginning of the 2010’s proved relatively fruitless for PSV. Winning the 2012 Dutch Cup was the only highlight as they failed to win a league title for seven years.

Finally, in 2015, PSV Eindhoven claimed the Eredivisie again following a 4-1 win over Heerenveen, marking their first league title since 2008 – also ending a four-year domination by Ajax.

PSV then successfully defended their league title in 2016 following Ajax’s 1-1 draw with 17th-placed De Graafschap on the last day of the season. They once again secured the Eredivisie title in 2018 with a 3-0 victory against Ajax themselves.

In March 2022, PSV Eindhoven appointed former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy as manager for the 2022/23 season, finishing second in the league but winning both the Johan Cruyff Shield and KNVB Cup during his first season in charge.

More recently, Peter Bosz was chosen to lead the club from the start of their 2023/24 campaign in a bid to win a twenty-fifth Eredivisie title.

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