Van Halst reward in Ajax rvc remains – No ‘next step’ AZ coach Jansen
In this liveblog, we look ahead to the national and international soccer weekend.
This brings us to the end of this liveblog. Of course, we will be back on Sunday, when the final round of play in the premier league is scheduled.
Until then, you can of course find the latest soccer news on NOS.nl and in the NOS app.
Van Halst installed in Ajax rvc, compensation set
The appointment of Jan van Halst as a member of Ajax’s Supervisory Board was made official on Friday afternoon. This took place at the shareholders’ meeting in the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Former footballer Van Halst will take care of Ajax’s soccer technical affairs as a Supervisory Board member. His appointment is valid until November 2026. With Van Halst, Ajax has a successor to Danny Blind, who was “soccer commissioner” until the summer of 2021.
Friction over fees
At the shareholders meeting, it was also determined that Ajax’s rvc members will now receive compensation. Van Halst will receive 45,000 euros a year. Chairman Pier Eringa can count on 35,000 euros, and 25,000 euros is waiting for the other supervisory board members.
There was a lot of noise within Ajax about the intention to reward the rvc members from now on. The amounts were subsequently adjusted slightly downward. Initially it was to be 50,000 euros for Van Halst and Eringa and 35,000 euros for the other supervisory directors.
Ajax coach Heitinga: ‘Everyone wants to beat us’
Coach John Heitinga still has a chance at second place with Ajax on Sunday. To do so, the Amsterdammers must win themselves against FC Twente and hope for a misstep by PSV in Alkmaar against AZ.
“When you are a footballer and especially when Ajax comes to visit, everyone wants to win from Ajax. We know that,” Heitinga said in a preview with Ajax TV of the visit to Enschede.
“It will be a difficult afternoon. We have to do it ourselves. It’s a fanatical crowd and a good opponent. We don’t have it in our own hands, but we have to seize the opportunity with both hands.”
Van Bommel wants to strike in title race
Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel hopes to strike a decisive blow Sunday against Union St. Gillis in the battle for the Belgian championship. With two games to go in the championship pool, the clubs are tied in points.
“We have a chance on Sunday to finish it off and you have to try to grab a chance like that,” Van Bommel said. “We worked very hard to get to the playoffs. Now we are working for the championship. If we lose, we no longer have it in our own hands, but that was not discussed with the players beforehand.”
Antwerp beat Union three times
Antwerp and Union will meet Sunday for the sixth time this season. Van Bommel’s team was the strongest three times before, Union won twice.
Dutch duo away at Toulouse
Stijn Spierings and Branco van den Boomen will say goodbye this summer at Toulouse, the club with which they won the French Cup tournament this season.
The Dutch duo decided not to renew their expiring contracts and, as a result, can leave transfer-free. Where their future lies is still unclear.
Van den Boomen made the switch from De Graafschap in 2020, Spierings came over from Levski Sofia in the same year. They both played over a hundred duels for Toulouse.
AZ coach Jansen is not thinking of a switch to PSV
Coach Pascal Jansen will take on PSV on Sunday with AZ, where Ruud van Nistelrooij left earlier this week. Jansen sympathizes with Van Nistelrooij, he told his press conference Friday.
“I find it especially very unpleasant for Ruud. I think very highly of him as a person and it means a lot if you make such a choice at this stage, with one such important match to go,” Jansen said.
‘Continued step not up for discussion’
The 50-year-old AZ coach has been mentioned in recent days as one of the candidates to succeed Van Nistelrooij. Jansen: “That is inherent in soccer. A follow-up step for me is not up for discussion right now. At the moment, the issue is that we play against PSV on Sunday.”
AZ is now fourth, but still has the possibility of finishing third. To do so, it must win over PSV itself and hope for a defeat by Ajax, which visits FC Twente.
Valencia penalty after racism supporters reduced
The Spanish Football Federation’s appeals committee has reduced Valencia’s penalty following racist behavior by supporters toward Real Madrid striker Vinícius Júnior. The club now only has to close a stand for three home games, while the fine imposed was reduced by 18,000 euros.
Initially, Valencia had to close part of the Estadio de Mestalla to the public for five games and pay a fine of 45,000 euros. The penalty was reduced on Friday after the club appealed.
More stewards and nets at AZ after riots
More stewards will be deployed and no alcohol will be sold to fans at the Van der Bent tribune before and during the match. Nets were also hung at two sections with home fans and the section with away fans.
“It is unfortunate that these measures have to be taken, but after the events of last week there was no other way,” said AZ director Robert Eenhoorn.
FC Twente goes full out against Ajax
FC Twente is already certain of participation in the playoffs for a ticket to European soccer, but the Tukkers do not intend to start Sunday’s home match against Ajax at half strength.
“It’s a wonderful affiche,” Twente coach Ron Jans, who is retiring after this season in Enschede, said on the club’s website. “The stadium is rigidly sold out and we are in form. We’re really not going to spare ourselves.”
Ajax still has a chance at second place. To do so, the Amsterdammers must win against Twente and hope for a defeat by PSV, which visits AZ.
Real Madrid still without Vinícius
Real Madrid will travel to the away game at Sevilla on Saturday without Vinícius Júnior. The Brazilian striker is struggling with a knee injury, according to coach Carlo Ancelotti. It is the second match in a row he will miss because of knee problems, after he was racially abused during the away game with Valencia last weekend. It led to much controversy in Spain.
Vinícius ran into a red card himself at Valencia. No suspension followed the red card, but he still missed Wednesday’s match against Rayo Vallecano. According to the official reading, he was injured in his knee.
“Vinícius will not go, because he will not play,” Ancelotti said a day before the game with Sevilla. “He would go if he had a chance to play, but he is still suffering from his knee. It doesn’t matter if it’s away or at home, he can’t be in action. I hope he can play in the last game.”
Real Madrid is in second place behind national champion Barcelona with two games to go. The team is one point ahead of number three Atlético Madrid.
Noppert faces return to Heerenveen
Andries Noppert will make his return to Heerenveen on Sunday in the game against Go Ahead Eagles. The goalkeeper, who was the first choice with Oranje during the World Cup in Qatar late last year, had been sidelined with a groin injury since late January.
“For the last week and a half he has been training with the group. Now he is ready for a comeback,” coach Kees van Wonderen said. “This match was a dot on the horizon for him. He wants very much and thinks he is ready.”
Transfer not ruled out
Earlier this week, Noppert talked about his rehabilitation and the possibilities of a transfer. “Everyone has the ambition to play as high as possible,” he said then.
Watch last Tuesday’s interview with Noppert below.
Noppert: ‘Like a little kid so happy to be back on the field’
Slot ‘spoke to two clubs’ but extends contract
Arne Slot’s press conference is over. The Feyenoord coach elaborated on his decision to extend his contract with the national champion.
“The deciding factor was playing Champions League, the fantastic work with the staff and players, the fact that I am enjoying myself privately tremendously and being able to build on the past two seasons,” Slot said.
You can read a full report here.
Slot extends at Feyenoord through 2026: ‘Talking to several clubs’
Slot did not want to give a definite answer earlier
Unlike last year, Arne Slot expects Feyenoord’s selection to remain largely intact. He says he sees plenty of sporting prospects at the Rotterdam club, which will play in the Champions League next season.
Slot did not consider giving a definite answer about his future until the past few days. “I didn’t know yet what would happen. I weighed all kinds of things, including whether the people working with me would want to go with me. You can think something about it, but then I don’t think it’s chic to say, ‘My intention is to stay,’ because you’re already raising an expectation with that.”
Lock cut the knot last Tuesday
Arne Slot says he made the decision about his future last Tuesday. He informed Feyenoord director Dennis te Kloese that evening that the conversation scheduled for Wednesday should be about contract extension and not a possible departure from Rotterdam.
“There have been talks by me with interested clubs. Feyenoord knew about that,” said Slot, who would not say which clubs were involved.
“I started thinking about it after the inauguration. There has never been a club that has reported to Feyenoord in concrete terms. I managed to achieve in a week what I’m very happy about and I think the supporters too: that I’m at Feyenoord for longer.”
Slot extends contract through 2026
Great news for Arne Slot and Feyenoord at the start of his press conference: the coach has extended his contract in Rotterdam for another year.
The commitment, which ran through the summer of 2025, is now valid until mid-2026. Slot announced earlier this week that he will also be working at Feyenoord next season anyway.
The clause for the summer of 2024, in which Slot could leave for an agreed amount, has been removed from the contract.
Press conference Slot begins shortly
At 2 p.m., Arne Slot will take his place behind the microphone to look ahead to Feyenoord’s last Premier League game and explain how he came to his decision to remain employed in Rotterdam next season as well.
Of course, you can read the latest updates in this liveblog.
Dortmund coach expresses admiration for Haller
Ahead of the decisive weekend in the German title race, Dortmund coach Edin Terzic speaks, among other things, about the role striker Sébastien Haller has played this season.
Haller returned in January after testicular cancer and went on to score nine goals in 18 league games. “We are extremely proud that he is back on the pitch with us regularly,” Terzic said.
“It wasn’t an easy year. We went through that together. The fact that he has so much influence again now is not a given.”
Terzic on Haller: ‘He can become our hero of the season’
Bayern hopes for slip up Dortmund
The decision in the Bundesliga title race will fall tomorrow afternoon. Borussia Dortmund, who host FSV Mainz, need only a win to dethrone Bayern Munich.
The record champion surrendered the lead last week. “I have no message for Dortmund. We know what we have to do ourselves. We dropped too many stitches,” Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said Friday afternoon. “The season will be unsatisfactory anyway, even if we still become champions.”
Bayern must win at FC Köln and hope for a misstep by Dortmund to still have a chance at the championship. Tuchel: “We are not looking at Dortmund’s match because we will have to win ourselves first.”
PSV gets rid of Max for good
Philipp Max is no longer owned by PSV. The German left-back continues his career with Eintracht Frankfurt, the club he has represented on a rental basis since the end of January.
Because Max has since made 13 appearances for Eintracht, the German club must fulfill the mandatory option to buy that was included in his contract.
Max came to PSV in the summer of 2020 and played 117 games for the club from Eindhoven. Among other things, he won the KNVB cup.
Rutten does not elaborate on van Nistelrooij’s departure
Fred Rutten’s press conference is now over. The interim coach of PSV did not want to say much about the abrupt departure of Ruud van Nistelrooij.
“I understand very well that there are a lot of questions, but I hope for understanding that I can’t go deeply into that,” Rutten, who will take over Van Nistelrooij’s duties for the final premier league match of the season, told the press conference.
You can read a report of the press interview here.
Yilmaz announces farewell at Fortuna
Burak Yilmaz has announced on Instagram that – as was expected by many – he is indeed leaving Fortuna Sittard.
“I will explain exactly what happened as soon as possible,” the 37-year-old Turkish striker announced. “I wish you success.”
Departure of Van Nistelrooij also surprised Rutten
The sudden departure of Ruud van Nistelrooij struck Fred Rutten “like a bomb”. “I didn’t see it coming at all,” he says.
The 60-year-old coach is leaving PSV after this season and suspects that Sunday will be his last time on the bench on behalf of the Eindhoven club. “In soccer land, anything is possible, but I do assume that this will be my last game as coach of PSV,” he said.
Rutten on Van Nistelrooij’s departure: ‘It hit like a bomb’
Rutten: ‘The theme is not Fred Rutten’
Fred Rutten will not elaborate on the departure of Ruud van Nistelrooij at the beginning of his press conference.
“That is not relevant now, because we have to perform against AZ on Sunday. I want to keep my focus on that. I know the mechanisms. If I answer it now, that’s the theme. And the theme, in my opinion, is not Fred Rutten. The theme is how we are going to conquer AZ on Sunday,” said Rutten, who did express sympathy with Van Nistelrooij.
“I haven’t spoken to him, only on app. I’ve also been in that situation. I know how it is the first time, how you feel then as a human being. Then I also know that you have little desire to speak to everyone.”
In Eindhoven, Fred Rutten’s press conference is about to begin.
Rutten, who will face the squad next Sunday when PSV take on AZ in Alkmaar, speaks for the first time after a tumultuous week in Eindhoven.
Special parting gift for Milner
James Milner’s farewell at Liverpool is not going unnoticed. The 37-year-old midfielder, who played eight years for Liverpool, has been given a piece of the turf.
This is a piece of grass with a penalty spot. Milner was long a regular taker of penalties at Liverpool.
“This one is for you, after eight years of destroying our penalty spots,” reads the attached bill from Anfield’s groundskeepers.
Worries for Valencia not over yet
Valencia may still be in 13th place with 40 points from 36 games, but the difference with number 18 Real Valladolid is only two points.
The three teams at the bottom after 38 duels are relegated. Valencia still plays at home against RCD Espanyol and away against Real Betis.
What now for Van Nistelrooij?
Now that Van Nistelrooij has left PSV, his future may lie in England. NOS soccer commentator Arno Vermeulen saw that 46-year-old coach is now named at Tottenham Hotspur, the club that grabbed alongside Feyenoord coach Arne Slot.
Slot staying in Rotterdam is a blessing for Feyenoord, according to Vermeulen. “All English media report that Spurs dropped out because Feyenoord demanded 15 million euros as a ransom. They thought that was too much. Feyenoord is now the number one candidate to prolong the title next year.”
Salah in sack and ashes after missing out on Champions League ticket
Now that Manchester United is certain of a Champions League ticket, it is also clear that Liverpool are condemned to the Europa League next season. Much to the disappointment of Liverpool striker Mo Salah.
“We are Liverpool and so qualification for the Champions League is the minimum. We have disappointed the fans and ourselves,” the Egyptian sighed on Twitter.
Ten Hag makes it to Champions League: ‘That’s where we belong’
Coach Erik ten Hag secured Champions League qualification with Manchester United last night. With a 4-1 win over Chelsea, it is now certain that United will finish in the top four.
“I always have high expectations for myself,” Ten Hag said afterwards. “So I also think this club belongs in the Champions League.”
Antony gets injured
By the way, Ten Hag fears a “serious” injury to Antony. The Brazilian striker fell out in the match against Chelsea after half an hour and had to be carried off the field by stretcher.
“We have to wait at least 24 hours and then hopefully we will know more about how serious the injury is,” Ten Hag concluded.
Ten Hag after winning Champions League soccer: ‘High expectations of myself’
Should Fortuna also look for new trainer?
Not only PSV, but also Fortuna Sittard seems to have to look for a new trainer. Julio Velázquez has announced his departure from Sittard, according to various media.
Velázquez joined Fortuna in September, succeeding the sacked Sjors Ultee. Under the leadership of the flamboyant Spaniard, the Limburgers, now ranked thirteenth, secured another year in the premier league.
Fortuna has not yet confirmed the coach’s departure.
Departure of Van Nistelrooij echoes in Eindhoven
Just a few days before the crucial encounter with AZ, PSV lost trainer Ruud van Nistelrooij. He stepped down because he did not feel sufficiently supported.
Assistant coach Fred Rutten will lead the group in Alkmaar on Sunday afternoon, where PSV will visit AZ. He will give a press conference this afternoon at noon.
Watch the commentary by technical director Earnest Stewart, who did not see Van Nistelrooij’s departure coming, below.
Disbelief at PSV: ‘Van Nistelrooij surprised with announcement that he would quit’
Slot did not speak about possible transfer
“There are no transfer talks going on and there haven’t been any and yesterday’s discussion was solely about a possible extension,” said Slot, whose agent Rafaela Pimenta was in Rotterdam on Wednesday. “All talks with Feyenoord are only focused on that. I am looking forward to the new season at Feyenoord.”
More explanation about his decision to stay in Rotterdam will be given by Slot in his press conference this afternoon. Updates on that can of course be read in this liveblog.
The state of play in the premier league
Feyenoord have been champions for a long time and the clubs relegated are also known. Still, there is plenty to play for in the premier league this weekend.
PSV needs a draw at AZ to secure their ticket to the Champions League qualifiers. If the Eindhoven players lose, Ajax still has a chance for second place. That team would have to beat FC Twente. With a win over PSV and a defeat by Ajax, AZ climbs to third place.
Heerenveen and Go Ahead play each other and compete with RKC Waalwijk for eighth place, which entitles them to participate in the playoffs for European soccer.
Welcome to this liveblog. You can read the latest news and other developments leading up to the soccer weekend here.
In the premier league, the final round of play is on the program. PSV, Ajax and AZ will determine who will finish second, third and fourth behind Feyenoord. The eighth place is also still undecided.
Press conferences in Rotterdam and Eindhoven
Today we are at the press conferences of Feyenoord and PSV, clubs where a lot happened this week in terms of trainers.