In the run-up to De Klassieker, videos from two historic matches between Feyenoord and Ajax have been released in colour. This involved two 'Klassiekers': Ajax - Feyenoord in 1960 (5-1) and Feyenoord - Ajax in 1964 (9-4). This initiative by the Eredivisie CV, in cooperation with ESPN, kicks off a series of black-and-white videos that have been colourised.
65 years of the Eredivisie
This season, the Eredivisie celebrates its 65th anniversary. The anniversary year is being coloured in several ways, including literally by colouring historical archive videos that were recorded in black-and-white. The first coloured clips from the 1960 and 1964 matches between Feyenoord and Ajax are shown today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 'De Klassieker'.
1960: Ajax - Feyenoord 5-1
Ajax played one of its most iconic matches in the Eredivisie on 26 May 1960. Ajax and Feyenoord finished the 1959-1960 season tied on points (50) and had to play a decider for the Dutch national title. In the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, Ajax clinched the special 'Klassieker' with resounding victory: 5-1. The clip shows, among others, Wim Bleijenberg (the star with three goals and one assist) and Mister Ajax, Sjaak Swart, in colour.
1964: Feyenoord - Ajax 9-4
The other colourised Klassieker is the match between Feyenoord and Ajax on 29 November 1964. Five goals from Rotterdam-born Hans Venneker contributed to Feyenoord's 9-4 victory over Ajax. The Rotterdam team featured players such as Eddy Pieter Graafland, Hans Kraay, Frans Bouwmeester and Coen Moulijn in the starting line-up, while Ajax started with Bennie Muller, Wim Suurbier, Sjaak Swart and the 17-year-old Johan Cruijff, among others. The coloured video show several goals scored by Venneker and more than sixty thousand supporters in a frenzied Kuip. That season saw Feyenoord crowned champions for the eighth time in the club's history.
'Colours make the historic videos more impactful'
The videos were coloured by Planet X on behalf of the Eredivisie CV. The Amsterdam-based visual effects company colourised the black-and-white images using Artificial Intelligence and manual work. The sound and (occasional) commentary are from the original NOS match footage that has been preserved.
Jan de Jong, director Eredivisie CV: ,,The historic matches are brought back to life again. This is a wonderful technique that was also used, for example, in Peter Jackson's monumental film They Shall Not Grow Old. It creates more realism and brings the past much closer. The matches are as long as ever, but gain tremendous impact through colourisation. It is as if you remove the dull layer of varnish from a beautiful painting and allow the work of art to regain its original beauty and glory."
Series of colourised videos
The colourised videos of 'De Klassiekers' premiered on Sunday morning in 'Goedemorgen Eredivisie' on ESPN. As of today the videos are also available in colour on the Eredivisie archive on YouTube. Over the course of this season, several more colourised clips from historic matches will be released by the Eredivisie and ESPN.