New record holder: Lasse Schöne becomes the foreign player with the most Eredivisie appearances (434)

Sixteen years ago (August 19, 2007), Lasse Schöne made his official Eredivisie debut. As a 21-year-old midfielder for De Graafschap, Schöne, along with Rogier Meijer, his current coach at N.E.C. Nijmegen, suffered a defeat against Ajax (1-8). Despite this unfortunate start, it turned out to be the beginning of a glorious career. A career that has now also earned him a record: no foreign player has played more matches in the Eredivisie than the Danish midfielder.

With his appearance against Ajax once again, his first opponent in the Eredivisie sixteen years ago and the club where he played for seven seasons as an Ajax player, he sets the new record. And notably, once again with Rogier Meijer on the sidelines: in 2007 as a teammate and substitute, today as the head coach of N.E.C. Nijmegen.

The now 37-year-old Dane began his career at De Graafschap. After an extremely successful first season in the Eerste Divisie, Schöne promoted with the Superboeren to the Eredivisie. After one Eredivisie season at De Graafschap and via N.E.C. Nijmegen, Ajax, a brief Italian adventure at Genoa, sc Heerenveen, and now again N.E.C. Nijmegen, Lasse Schöne has reached the illustrious number of 434 Eredivisie matches. He surpasses the Dutch South African Hans Vonk who played 433 matches in the Eredivisie from 1988 to 2009.

Lasse Schöne over the years.

An impressive number: this is evident from the fact that no Dutch player has reached this number of matches this century. Jens Toornstra falls just short with 'only' 432 matches. Following him are, among others, Willem Janssen (409), Peter Wisgerhof (372), Aaron Meijers (367), and Gábor Babos (360).

Eredivisie: Foreign players with the most matches

Player Nationality Matches

Lasse Schöne



Hans Vonk



Jan Heintze



Gábor Babos



Earnest Stewart

Verenigde Staten


Throughout all those years, Schöne was always crucial for his team. Out of his 433 matches, he started 396 in the starting lineup. The midfielder found the net 84 times and provided 72 assists in the league. Only three players have provided more assists in the Eredivisie this century. Schöne's excellent kicking ability is also evident from the fact that only Theo Janssen and Pierre van Hooijdonk (both 17) have scored more direct free kicks than the Dane (15) in this century.

With a 1-8 defeat in his very first Eredivisie match, Schöne experienced his biggest loss in the league right from the start. However, thereafter, mainly highlights followed, including three championships with Ajax. Schöne is also performing well with N.E.C. this season. Under coach Rogier Meijer, who was Schöne's teammate at De Graafschap during his debut, the Nijmegen team is situated in the top half of the table. If N.E.C. unexpectedly qualifies for European football, Schöne could easily extend his Eredivisie fairytale for some more time.

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