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The FC Twente story: from rags to riches

In the second episode of UEFA.com's documentary on Dutch champions FC Twente, we learn how they battled back from the brink of bankruptcy to embark on the most successful period in their history.

The FC Twente story: from rags to riches
The FC Twente story: from rags to riches ©UEFA.com

Since nearly going bankrupt in 2003, FC Twente have enjoyed the most successful period in their history, leading to a first Eredivisie title last season. The celebrations continued a fortnight ago when they held European champions FC Internazionale Milano to a 2-2 draw on their UEFA Champions League debut, a result they will look to build on away to Tottenham Hotspur FC on Wednesday.

In the second instalment of the Twente Story on UEFA.com, we learn how chairman Joop Munsterman laid the foundations for success and how coaches Fred Rutten, Steve McClaren and now Michel Preud'homme have put the club's ambitious plans into action.

FC Twente timeline

1965: Sportclub Enschede and Enschedese Boys merge to form FC Twente.

1971: Twente reach the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, where they are defeated by Juventus.

1974: After finishing third in 1972 and 1973, Twente come within a whisker of their first title when they finish runners-up to Feyenoord, losing 3-2 to the Rotterdam side on the final day of the season.

1975: That is still enough to earn a UEFA Cup place, and Twente excel in the competition, beating Juventus in the last four before losing out to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final, 5-1 on aggregate.

1977: Twente win the Dutch Cup for the first time with club legend Epi Drost opening the scoring in a 3-0 victory against PEC Zwolle in the final.

1983: Twente are relegated for the first time, but bounce back the following season.

1998: Twente leave their old Diekman Stadion for the FC Twente Stadion. It has an initial capacity of 13,500 which has since been increased to 24,000.

2001: Twente win their second major trophy by beating PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Cup showpiece. Goalkeeper Sander Boschker is the hero in the shoot-out with three successive saves as Twente recover from 3-1 down to lift the trophy.

2003: Financial troubles threaten the club's existence, but the arrival of Joop Munsterman as chairman heralds the start of a new era.

2010: Twente win the Eredivisie title for the first occasion under English coach Steve McClaren with a 2-0 win at NAC Breda on 2 May.

2010: Twente draw 2-2 with titleholders Inter in their first match in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Famous players
Epi Drost
Voted player of the century by Twente fans in 2000, the skilful ball-playing centre-back made 423 appearances for the club over 14 seasons from 1966 to 1980 before returning for a final fling at the end of his career. The seats in the main stand at Twente's ground have been painted to display an image of his face. Died of a heart attack during an exhibition match in 1995 aged 49.

Blaise Nkufo
Prolific scorer during his seven years at the club between 2003 and 2010. Signed off last season with 12 goals as Twente lifted the title. Joined Seattle Sounders in the summer after an emotional unveiling of his statue outside the stadium.

Theo Pahlplatz
The technically gifted attacking midfielder was a key figure during Twente's early years and helped the club to their first piece of silverware in 1977, the Dutch Cup. He played 13 times for the Netherlands during his time at Twente, more than any other player. His son Boudewijn, a former PSV and Twente player, is on the coaching staff.

Kick van der Vall
Van der Vall started his career at Feyenoord but is Twente at heart having, like his team-mate Pahlplatz, helped forge the club's early identity in the late 1960s. He stayed at Twente until 1979, by which time he had played 434 games for the club and scored 73 goals. Van der Vall and Pahlplatz played in both legs of the 1975 UEFA Cup final.

Sander Boschker
The goalkeeper has spent all but one season of his 21-year career at Twente. Boschker, who made his Twente debut as a 19-year-old in November 1989, holds the record for most Eredivisie appearances for one club, which now stands at 543. On 1 June 2010 he became the oldest player to represent the Netherlands when he made his debut against Ghana aged 39 years and 224 days.

Club Records
UEFA club competition
• Biggest home win
7-0: Twente v Panahaiki FC
07/11/73, UEFA Cup second round second leg

• Biggest away win
0-5: BK Frem v Twente
25/10/72, UEFA Cup second round first leg

• Heaviest home defeat
1-5: Twente v VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
21/05/75, UEFA Cup final second leg

• Heaviest away defeat
4-0: Paris Saint-Germain FC v Twente
18/12/08, UEFA Cup group stage
4-0: Arsenal FC v Twente
27/08/08, UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
4-0: Panionios GS v Twente
19/09/79, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg

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