A popular figure in Dutch football, Sparta Rotterdam is one of the oldest football clubs in the country. Since its establishment in 1888, the team has had a history filled with numerous ups and downs. Highly successful in its early years, the club claimed the League Championship and KNVB Cup several times in its first seven decades. Regulars at the highest level of Dutch football, it faced its biggest setback in 2003 when it was relegated to the Eerste Divisie. Since then it has suffered two more relegations before being promoted once again in 2019. This a club that is overshadowed by its exemplary youth system. Star players such as Danny Blind, Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay and Kevin Strootman, are all graduates of its academy.