|06 May 18||Sparta|| ||2 - 5|| ||SC Heracles|
|29 Apr 18||Feyenoord|| ||3 - 1|| ||Sparta|
|18 Apr 18||Sparta|| ||2 - 1|| ||NAC Breda|
|14 Apr 18||Vitesse|| ||7 - 0|| ||Sparta|
|07 Apr 18||Sparta|| ||3 - 2|| ||VVV-Venlo|
Sparta Rotterdam (Dutch pronunciation: ) is a Dutch professional football club based in Rotterdam. Established on 1 April 1888, Sparta Rotterdam is the oldest professional football team in the Netherlands.
In the 2017–18 season, Sparta will play in the Eredivisie, the top tier of Dutch professional football. The club is one of three professional football clubs from Rotterdam, the others being Excelsior (est. 1902) and Feyenoord (1908).
Sparta Rotterdam vs Blackpool F.C., Aug. 1957
On 1 April 1888, several students from Rotterdam founded a cricket club called Sparta. In July 1888, a football branch of the club was established. In 1890, Sparta played its first real football match, and in 1892 Sparta disbanded the cricket branch. Sparta was promoted to the highest league of Dutch football on 23 April 1893. In 1897, Sparta withdrew from the competition after continuous dubious arbitration of Sparta matches. The club continued to exist, however, and in 1899 the board of Sparta visited a match of Sunderland. Impressed with the red-and-white jersey of the English club, the board decided that Sunderland's colours (red-white striped jersey, black shorts) would henceforth be the colours of Sparta.
In 1905, Sparta initiated and organised the first home match of the Netherlands national team, against Belgium. The match, won 4–0 by the Netherlands, was a rematch of a game two weeks prior, when the Netherlands beat Belgium 4–1 in Antwerp, Belgium.
The first match at Sparta's new stadium, Het Kasteel (The Castle), in the Spangen area of west Rotterdam, was played on 14 October 1916. The stadium was renovated in 1999 and is still Sparta's stadium.
Until the 2002–03 season, Sparta had always played at the highest level, but they were relegated from the top-level Eredivisie in 2002. Sparta returned to the Eredivisie for the 2005–06 season. They were relegated again in 2010. On 20 August 2010, they equalled Ajax's and Heracles Almelo's Dutch league record win when they defeated Almere City 12–1 with Johan Voskamp scoring an Eerste Divisie record 8 goals on his debut. After six years in the Eerste Divisie, Sparta again won promotion to the Eredivisie in April 2016 after a 3–1 win over Jong Ajax won them an unassailable lead over second placed VVV-Venlo.
Sparta has won six national titles (1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1915 and 1959) and three national cups (1958, 1962 and 1966).
They are known for their loyal fan base.
The best footballers of Rotterdam and Antwerp contested a yearly match between 1909 and 1959 for the Meuse- and Scheldt Cup (Maas- en Schelde Beker). It was agreed to play the game at stadium Het Kasteel in Rotterdam and at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp. The cup was provided in 1909 by Kees van Hasselt from Rotterdam and P. Havenith from Antwerp.
Main article: Sparta Youth Academy
The Sparta Jeugdopleiding (English: Sparta Youth Academy) is a four-star certified youth academy and amongst the strongest in the nation, having won the national academy of the year award on several occasions. Several International footballers have progressed through the ranks of the academy, including Danny Blind, Danny Koevermans, David Mendes da Silva, Ed de Goey, Winston Bogarde, Memphis Depay, Henk Fräser, Jan van Beveren, Anwar El Ghazi, Jetro Willems, John de Wolf, Kevin Strootman and Nick Viergever, amongst others.