In 1954/55 Willem II won the Dutch title once again after the play-off rounds against EVV Eindhoven, NAC and PSV. It was around this time that professional football was introduced to Holland, with the three major Tilburg sides all represented. Willem II soon struggled and were relegated soon after their championship win.
In 1958, the first of many public discussions took place as to whether Willem II, NOAD and LONGA should merge, but the suggestion was declined. In 1959 the star Brazilian side Botafogo played a friendly at Sportpark in front of a packed house of 18,000. Thew visitors included Garrincha, Didi, Paulinho, Zagallo and Santos in their line up, a year after helping Brazil win the World Cup.
‘de Tricolores’ faced Spartak Moscow, Girondins de Bordeaux and Sparta Prague in their group, which ended in elimination. After a fifth place finish was achieved in Eredivisie Adriaanse departed to be replaced by Hans Westerhof.
Westerhof lasted a couple of average seasons before he was replaced by Mark Wotte in July 2002. André Wetzel and then Robert Maaskant followed in the managerial hot seat as the club tried to reclaim former glories. In 2005 he took the side to the final of the KNVB Cup, but the big day at De Kuip was to end in disappointment following a 4-0 defeat to PSV.
Willem II will play in Eredivisie in the 2015-16 season.