De Kuip is Feyenoord’s fortress. I  had the chance of watching an international friendly between Ghana and the Netherlands in Rotterdam, a game the Black Stars lost 4-1. Great strikers like Van Hooijdonk and Roy Makaay have all played in De Kuip before. Just look at the stadium and you will understand why John Guidetti has put up some stellar performances for the Rotterdammers this season. Ronald Koeman has described him as “phenomenal”.

Players like Sekou Cisse and Guyon Fernandez have all failed to live up to expectation in Rotterdam. John Alberto Fernando Andres Luigi Olof Guidetti ,very long name for a lad who is still 19, is the answer to Feyenoord’s goal scoring problems. Can John Alberto Guidetti follow in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen Ove Kindvall, Henrik Larsson and Johan Elmander?

Last season, while watching an EPL game, I received a text from a good friend Emmanuel Nii Martey (@menmartey) that PSV had beaten Feyenoord 10-0. I found it quite difficult to believe until I watched the Eredivisie highlights myself. Eyebrows were raised all over the world after that cricket score.

An angry mob of Feyenoord fans await the return of the team bus to De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam
An angry mob of Feyenoord fans await the return of the team bus to De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam

Feyenoord’s technical director, Leo Beenhakker, said that the board still supported Mario Been (now coach of Genk, whose side lost 5-0 to Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League) and did not intend to fire him. Later that season, Georginio Wijnaldum’s (now at PSV Eindhoven) brace ended PSV Eindhoven’s title hopes with a 3-1 defeat at Feyenoord, the Rotterdam side avenging their 10-0 humiliation. Feyenoord finished 10th in the Eredivisie – their lowest finish since 1989-90 – as their rivals Ajax won a 30th title.


Ronald Koeman replaced Mario Been, who quit early this season after his players said they had lost faith in his leadership.Koeman (48) who has given the youth the benefit of the doubt has changed Feyenoord’s fortunes this season. Players like Jerson Cabral (who was making all the headlines before Guidetti’s arrival), John Guidetti and Ron Vlaar have been very instrumental in Feyenoord’s success story.

During an illustrious playing career, Koeman was capped 78 times for Oranje and won the Spanish league title four times as well as the 1992 European Cup with Barcelona, before ending his career with Feyenoord.


John Guidetti (@superguidetti) reminds me of a younger Wayne Rooney.He has been likened to the United striker because of his physique. John is still 19 but he looks mature and strong. Manchester is now Europe’s ‘capital’ football city with City and United competing for the EPL this season. The former was once a ‘normal’ football club but everything changed in 2008 when the club was bought by Abu Dhabi United Group, just around the same time John joined City.

The takeover has seen players like Barry, Tevez,Lescott,Yaya Touré,David Silva, Mario Balotelli, James Milner, Edin Džeko, Sergio Agüero, Samir Nasri and Pizarro join the Manchester side.

City played in the Champions League for the first time this season and finished third in their group thus continuing their European adventure in the Europa League (beating Porto 6-1 on aggregate)

Manchester City’s high profile signings is one of the main reasons why we have not seen so much of John. Such signings have been a blessing in disguise for Feyenoord. I thought John was going to get a chance with the Citizens this season after watching him in one of  City’s pre-season games. John Guidetti scored in City’s win over Vancouver.


John Guidetti’s move to Enschede was a very controversial one. Guidetti’s contract with Manchester City ran out last summer and thus visited Twente with his father [Mike Guidetti].Several papers reported he had signed for the Dutch club.Everything seemed to have gone through ,he had appended his signature, passed his medicals but just before his official presentation his Swedish agent Per Jonsson insisted nothing had been agreed upon.

Most pundits say that Guidetti turned down a move to Twente when it became clear that the new coach, unlike his predecessor  expressed his  confidence in Marc Janko (now at FC Porto), who was about to be sold by the club. Competing for a spot in the team with the Austrian giant was impossible.

Despite his apparent transfer to Twente, Guidetti signed a contract with Manchester City extending his relationship with the club for three more years.

Some people think Twente paid Manchester City some money to get their boy back but I have a feeling Twente will have a share in a lucrative Guidetti transfer in the future.

The Swede has put his transfer controversy behind him by enjoying the best season of his career. After Sweden’s under 19’s game with the Netherlands under 19 in which he scored a brace, the Dutch media got to know of the kid’s talent. On the last day of the transfer window, Feyenoord and Manchester City agreed a 1 year loan deal.

Earning money as a benchwarmer at City sounds nice but the Eredivisie is the best place for a young player like Guidetti to develop his game. Feyenoord have not been at their best for years now but John’s presence has changed Feyenoord’s fortunes.He has scored more than half of Feyenoord’s goals this season. The Rotterdamers have become main Eredivisie title contenders.


Guidetti spent his childhood not only in Sweden but also in Kenya where his father worked at a Swedish school. He has lived there for five years in total. In Kenya he grew up playing street football in the slums outside Nairobi.  He has plans of returning to Kenya to help old friends in setting up football academies. He has benefitted a lot from Africa.He says he built up his extraordinary physique there, playing and training at high altitude. Guidetti began his career playing in the Brommapojkarna youth system after leaving Kenyan football academy Ligi Ndogo.

Video: Guidetti: Dream of giving back to Africa

When the family moved back to Sweden, Sven-Goran Eriksson beat off competition from Sampdoria, Ajax and Inter to sign the then 16-year-old in 2008.

His time in Kenya, no doubt, shaped him and made him the player he is today.


”Driedetti” (Drie means three in Dutch) has scored three hat-tricks this season against Vitesse, FC Twente and Ajax. He is the first Feyenoord player to score 3 hat-tricks in one season since Liverpool’s Dirk Kuijt in the 2004/2005 season.

John Alberto Guidetti has now scored a remarkable 18 goals in 16 games in the Eredivisie.

Guidetti has the second best goal-per-game average in the history of the Eredivisie (1.12 goal per game), beating players such as van Basten, Ronaldo, Romário, Mateja Kezman, Luis Suárez and Pierre van Hooijdonk. The only player he has to beat is  Afonso Alves.


The Sweden national coach, Erik Hamren, has acted quickly to fend off any interest from the Italian FA as Guidetti’s father, Mike, has Italian heritage (John’s paternal grandfather is Italian) by inviting John to play for Sweden against Croatia on 29th February in Zagreb. Guidetti’s form has put him in contention to make his debut for his country.

He scored his 18th goal from the penalty spot (7 penalties this season) in his 16th league game against RKC Waalwijk and celebrated by pulling his shirt off which gave him his second yellow card in the game. Guidetti looked dejected after the red card because he was going to miss Feyenoord’s most important game of the season against league leaders PSV Eindhoven. RKC then equalized three minutes before the end and Guidetti later apologized to the team, the supporters and the coach.

The Italian grandfather in him resurrected that afternoon.


Feyenoord legend Ove Kindvall wants to see John Guidetti in the yellow shirt of Sweden [and not Brazil since Guidetti’s maternal grandfather is Brazilian] at the European Championships.Kindvall won the 1970 European Cup (now UEFA Champions League)  and two national championships with the Rotterdam club .Kindvall scored 129 league goals in 144 games for Feyenoord. Kindvall is very proud of Guidetti’s performances  in Rotterdam.

Sweden have their most talented forward since the emergence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in fine form heading into the European Championships.Swedish fans have already called for his inclusion in Sweden’s final EURO 2012 team.He has scored 5 goals in 5 games for the Sweden under 19 side.


Guidetti scored on his Feyenoord debut against NAC Breda by coming off the bench to score a penalty. He pulled the trigger as if he was John Gotti (Italian-American mafia boss) himself. He has become Feyenoord’s main penalty taker this season after the coach realised how good he was. John is loving it at Feyenoord at the moment. He loves the club, the fans and the Netherlands. The Swede feels at home in Rotterdam with his ‘arrogant’ goal celebrations.

The 19-year-old attacker will miss tomorrow’s game at Eindhoven due to suspension,a big blow for Koeman’s men.With ”The Rhino” in form, everything will be fine at Feyenoord.

This article was written by Nana Abiri (@NOKA88)


One thought on “THE NEW KINDVALL

  1. Nice blog, im not sure thats his real name I think its only John Alberto Guidetti. Someone changed the wikipedia and now all news use that long name I guess.

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