NAC Breda returns to the Eredivisie after five years

After dominating Excelsior in their two-legged tie, NAC Breda returns to the Eredivisie for the first time since the 2018/19 season. NAC has surprised both friends and foes in the Play-Offs, promoting as the eighth-placed team from the Keuken Kampioen Divisie to the top tier. NAC Breda has been absent from the highest Dutch level for five seasons, marking the longest gap between Eredivisie seasons for NAC since the 1984/85-1993/94 period (eight seasons).

By goal difference to the play-offs

Few supporters or experts gave NAC Breda much of a chance ahead of the Keuken Kampioen Play-Offs. NAC Breda only secured their play-off spot on the last day of the regular season by goal difference and had to face Roda JC Kerkrade in the first round, a team that had just missed direct promotion on goal difference. However, in an energetic Rat Verlegh Stadium, the Limburgers were defeated 3-1, and after a resounding 0-5 victory four days later, NAC supporters began to believe.

Convincing in the second round

In the second round, FC Emmen was eliminated after a 1-1 draw at home and a 0-3 victory away in Drenthe. Later that day, it was announced that Excelsior would be the opponent in the final, after the Rotterdam team had convincingly defeated ADO Den Haag 9-2 over two matches. Jean-Paul van Gastel's team once again faced a two-legged tie in the role of underdog, as players like Troy Parrott, Couhaib Driouech, and Kenzo Goudmijn from the Kralingers seemed to show their Eredivisie quality at the right moment.

Excelsior dominated

But Excelsior was also defeated in the final. In the first match, NAC scored six goals in a game for the first time since August 2020 (6-1 against Jong AZ). The Brabanders' goal explosion came at the perfect time. Additionally, the team scored more than four goals in a match twice during the Play-Offs. In the 109 matches before the Play-Offs, they managed this feat only twice, both times against youth teams.

For the first time since 2018

Due to this impressive run, NAC Breda is promoted to the Eredivisie for the first time since 2018. With this, the Eredivisie welcomes back a regular participant. This will be the 51st Eredivisie season for the Brabanders, with only six teams having played more seasons in the top tier of Dutch football since the introduction of professional football in the 1956/57 season.

Eredivisie seasons (2024/'25 included)

Team Seasons







Sparta Rotterdam


FC Twente


FC Utrecht


NAC Breda


It's remarkable considering NAC finished eighth in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie this season, with just three goals separating them from ninth-placed MVV Maastricht. This marks the fifth time that a team finishing eighth or lower in the Eerste Divisie has been promoted to the Eredivisie, and it's the first time since RKC Waalwijk in the 2018/19 season (who finished 8th). However, NAC fans need not worry about a short stay in the top flight; on four of the previous five promotions, NAC remained in the Eredivisie for multiple seasons immediately following promotion.

The Eredivisie congratulates all NAC supporters on the promotion.

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