The Eindhoven Football Club PSV was founded on August 31st 1913, at the end of a big Philips sports party marking the 100th anniversary of Dutch independence. The football department was one of many in the club.
The current club’s foundation was laid three years before, on 12 December 1910, by a group of Philips employees. The Philips Elftal played its first match on 15 January the heart of the Philips village at the Frederiklaan, at exactly the same location where the Philips Stadion is still situated. Five-year-old Frits Philips, who was to become a PSV legend, kicked off the debut match against Hollandia from Woensel. The Philips Elftal joined the Philips Sport Vereniging on 22 October 1913, but kept its own name until the teams merged on 31 October the first few years, PSV was the club for only N.V. Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken employees until 1928, when people without Philips connections were also welcome.
Introduction professional football
PSV have competed in the Dutch league ever since 1914; they were promoted to the First Division in the space of ten years and have always been a top flight team since 1926. Professional football was introduced in the in 1955 and shortly afterwards PSV were the first Dutch club to take part in the Coupe Européenne, the predecessor of the current UEFA Champions League.
PSV have a strong history of success and an impressive list of honours. They clinched the Dutch title for the first time in 1929 and won their first title after the introduction of professional football in 1963, following a 5-2 victory against . All together they were crowned champions twenty-three times and lifted the KNVB beker nine times. Also PSV won the national Super Cup ten times. PSV have been competing in European competitions ever since 1974. The first highlight was winning the 1978 UEFA Cup, with Willy van der Kuylen having a major impact. It was the prelude of a new period of a great many sporting successes. The eighties saw PSV´s stars claim yet more silverware: they clinched the Dutch title six times between 1986 and 1992 and the KNVB Beker three times in that period.
The golden year
The highlight of the club’s history is undoubtedly winning the European Cup I in the 1987/88 season. The final against Benfica took place in . The match ended 0-0 after extra time and went to a penalty shoot out. Goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen saved the decisive spot kick from full-back António Veloso and PSV had beaten Benfica 6-5 on penalties. PSV manager Guus Hiddink won the treble with the 1988 European Cup, the Dutch title and KNVB Beker to crown PSV´s most successful year ever.
PSV earned worldwide recognition for their successes, which helped attract several big-name players. It all started with the signings of the Brazilian stars Romário and Ronaldo, who joined PSV as the scouting network proved to be a rewarding activity, followed by a great many international top players, including Cocu, Van Nistelrooy, Robben, Van Bommel, Alex, Gomes, Farfán, to mention just a few.