Belgian Golden Shoe/Soulier d'or 1954-2010

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by PuckVanHeel, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I recall Zetterberg being highly rated on Championship Manager games I think! He was a star in the post-prime era of the league anyway.

    I thought about Van Tiggelen, but did recall someone (a Belgian or someone who knew the league) wasn't sure about my idea to include him a Dutch XI or squad, and said he was a centre-back, so perhaps he watched him in that position for Anderlecht without being too impressed. If he did he could also easily have seen him playing left-back (or left centre-back of a 3 whenever Van Aerle was pushed up and Erwin Koeman switched with Muhren in order to be a kind of left wing-back too wasn't it) to good effect in Euro 88 to be fair though (not only according to me lol as some ratings Vegan showed tended to confirm IIRC, and contrary to this guy's verdict I know some Dutch people do think of him as among the best Dutch left-backs anyway for the NT). Perhaps he was better regarded as a PSV player even but not sure. I didn't exactly expect to see him listed here - Lato I would have done though I guess.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  2. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Yes it is sometimes said Van Tiggelen was a reason that the national team he played in had no obvious weak spots and was thus quite successful if it did not disintegrate (also #1 in the national team Elo in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992 for example).

    Think here about Meunier and what it did with the team when he was unavailable against France in the semis. Or the national team coach as possible weak spot. It is the 'weak link theory'.

    I wrote this about Van Tiggelen a few years ago as sketchy overview and it was approved and agreed with by a Belgian poster (Skorenzy), among others.

    Show Spoiler
    I typed a response but clicked on the wrong button and it was gone.

    I'll try to type it down again in a more concise manner.

    I find it hard to rate it, as indicated earlier. I think all his five Anderlecht seasons are similar in quality.

    Van Tiggelen started his career at Sparta as left-winger but was gradually transformed to left-back.

    In 1986 PSV was in the running to sign him but they were scared of the 1 million pound price tag. Anderlecht wasn't scared and attracted him, they outbid PSV. He played as central defender and to a lesser extent as left-back for his new club.
    He was well respected and climbed in the pecking order. When (ageing) team captain Vercauteren moved to France in 1987, vice-captain Georges Grün climbed one place in the pecking order and was promoted to the team captain role. This provided an window of opportunity for Van Tiggelen too.

    When Grün in turn moved to Italy in 1990 (he became at the same moment team captain of the Belgian national team after the retirement of Ceulemans; until Grün himself retired too in 1995), Van Tiggelen climbed again a place and became the team captain. For some sections of the fans this was a sensitive thing, to see a Dutchman as a captain of their club. There is always a staunch minority who don't like that (and a similar minority who are vehemently pro Dutch in a strange manner).
    Van Tiggelen caught mid-way in the season an injury however and wanted to return as soon as possible. But manager De Mos waited a bit, wasn't sure whether he was recovered yet, and as a result of that the relationship between captain and manager became sour. Van Tiggelen regained his place immediately when De Mos had faith in his fitness level, but he lost his captaincy. He played 25 games in his last season for Anderlecht.
    At that moment (1991), PSV stepped in again and paid around 500000 pound for the then 33-years old defender.

    Anderlecht supporters nicknamed him 'the nail', for both his slender posture and precise & well-timed tackles. As a former winger, he had also good control and composure on the ball and I know that some members on this board (PDG for example) tend to rate him for that ability - his above average dribbling and agility for a defender.
    He is also generally seen as one of the best left-backs the Dutch national team had, and certainly as one of the most reliable ones who rarely/never let down or disappointed. His retirement for the national team after euro92 was widely deplored. For the national team he exclusively played as left-back, and except for his first cap, he was always a starter in his 56 games.

    I think it does not help there are already eleven of his compatriots in the list (not one of them a defender or goalkeeper admittedly). That he became team captain there at a (certainly then) predominantly Francophone club might be seen as a sign of appreciation and reliable service to the team.

    Raymond Goethals said once that you don't buy a Dutchman (or many other foreigners for the crowd) to let him defend, that's a waste of money and bad application of resources. Guy Thys said once (which I said before) that you can put 5 Dutchmen in a room and you'll get 10 different opinions.

    I'm aware you like his playing style and often/occasionally stands out for you when you watch classic matches/highlights.

    Ariaga his shout of Louis Pilot (also named in the text!) as notable omission makes sense
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    40 François Van Der Elst 01/12/1954 Attacker
    Contributed to the European successes of Anderlecht in the seventies as a sharp-minded and accurate winger. Top scorer of Belgium in 1977, European winner with purple-white in 1976 and 1978. After an intermezzo at New York Cosmos, where he naturally became champion, he experienced a second career at West Ham. Returned to Belgium at Lokeren. Became a vice-European champion in 1980, but maybe could have done more with his gifts and luck.

    41 Timmy Simons 11/12/1976 Midfielder
    With Timmy Simons in your team it is easy for a trainer to work, Trond Sollied said once. As midfielder and later libero a model of commitment to Club Brugge, PSV, FC Nürnberg and again Club. Conductor without frills. For the Red Devils, he was the second most used Red Devil of all time (94 caps) after Jan Ceulemans and played in the first division until his 41st.

    42 Mousa Dembélé 16/07/1987 Midfielder
    When he was sixteen already the striker at Germinal Beerschot, but because of too little instinct and shooting for the goal, he quickly moved back and back as a ball-proof and technically skilled midfielder. Could go to Anderlecht, but opted for a gradual course that led him to England via Willem II and AZ. Named by many Red Devils as the technically best player with whom they once played football.

    43 Victor Lemberechts 15/05/1924 Attacker
    The absolute star of the Malinois who played champion in 1943, 1946 and 1948. Attacker circling around goalkeeper Bert De Cleyn. Bon vivant and 'born footballer' in one, though he dribbled just a bit more angular than Coppens and his torinstinct was slightly less than that of Mermans. Was 42 times international. Was called the Belgian Stanley Matthews.

    44 Erwin Vandendaele 05/03/1945 Defender
    For ten years the aristocrat of Club. A beautiful, somewhat phlegmatic midfielder who felt best as a libero, where he always sought and found creative solutions with his technique. Strongholder in the champions team of 1972/73, but it did not click with Ernst Happel. A transfer to Anderlecht in 1974 was a good solution. There Vandendaele played for three years at a high level.

    45 Georges Grün 25/01/1962 Defender
    Late bloomer, but clever and calm defensive player who broke through Anderlecht and moved to Parma after the 1990 World Cup. With this, in 1993 he won another European medal on Wembley against Antwerp. Played 77 times for the Red Devils, with as memorable moment his header goal in the Rotterdam Kuip with which in 1985 he qualified the Red Devils for the World Championship in Mexico.

    46 Julien Cools 13/02/1947 Midfielder
    As a midfielder with an extra pair of lungs, Cools was constantly up and down the right flank, with Club Brugge and the Red Devils. Not for his technical qualities, but for his dedication, the Kempenaar went from Beringen to Club in 1973, where he won the Golden Shoe in 1977. As captain he sailed the Red Devils to the European Championship finals in 1980. A marathon runner who arranged the pace.

    47 Daniel van Buyten 07/02/1978 Defender
    At Charleroi and also Standard occasionally, it seems there was a limited central defender, but flourished abroad completely open, first at Marseille certainly, then at Manchester City, Hamburg and then at Bayern where he won four titles, although he was not always a starter. In 2013, after Gerets in 1988, he became the second Belgian to win the Champions League.

    48 Nico Dewalque 20/09/1945 Defender
    Limburger who only played for Liège clubs from 1963 to 1979. Debuted as striker, but through the midfield by Raymond Goethals landed at the libero site in the national team. Technically fine central defender who acted in the strong Standard that dominated Belgian football in the late 1960s. Played later at Club Liege.

    49 Marouane Fellaini 22/11/1987 Midfielder
    With his warrior heart, unbridled dedication and important goals you can always go to war with him. In lesser times chose for the Red Devils over the Morocco of his parents. Moved after the title with Standard in 2008 for the then record amount of 20 million euros to Everton where Manchester United removed him in 2013 for 32 million euros. Looks sometimes out of his depth.

    50 Fernand Goyvaerts 24/10/1938 Attacker
    Only Belgian who played football for both Real and Barcelona. He made his debut in 1962 at Club Brugge but in his second year, the quirky dribbler left for Barça after a quarrel with the club. His election as best foreigner in Spain provided him an immediate flash transfer to Real in 1963, where he remained hanging in injury issues, return via Elche and Nice to play football at Cercle Brugge.
    Gregoriak repped this.
  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    30 Philippe Albert 10/08/1967 Defender
    At KV Mechelen, 'the lumberjack of Bouillon' turned out to be a top-class defender who often also made important goals and combined the spectacular with defending the goal. It earned him a transfer to Anderlecht, where he won two titles and the Golden Boot. Then he pitched high eyes on the dice at reckless Newcastle and Fulham. Strong holder of the Red Devils at the 1994 World Cup. Man of memorable moments.

    31 Jan Vertonghen 24/04/1987 Defender
    Through the youth training from Germinal Beerschot to Ajax where he started as a midfielder but went down to the defense. Moved after two titles with Ajax and an election to Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2012 to Tottenham. Broke the international record of Jan Ceulemans (96 international matches) on 10 October 2017 and has been Belgian record international ever since (110 caps).

    32 Marc Wilmots 22/02/1969 Attacker
    After the promotion with STVV to first class, he teased a transfer to KV Mechelen and later to Standard, but he got the domestic recognition while abroad where he made his name as a tireless driver in the midfield, at center forward and behind center forward. The Kampfschwein was protagonist in the UEFA Cup win with Schalke in 1997, and led the Red Devils at the 2002 World Cup.

    33 Vic Mees 26/01/1927 Midfielder
    Gentleman footballer, the best proof that diligence and effort pay. Was at Antwerp, which won with him a title and a cup and numerous places of honor, the devil-does-all in the midfield, the man who made the others play better, and fair on top. Little ball loss and difficult to put off the ball. It earned him 68 caps at the Red Devils and the Golden Shoe.

    34 Bernard Voorhoof 11/05/1910 Forward
    Pre-war striker of Lierse with whom he became champion in 1932. Made in 529 matches with yellow-black 350 goals. Played three World Cups with the Red Devils (1930, 1934 and 1938). Until recently top striker of the national team, together with Paul Van Himst he scored 30 times. Was an impulsive player who had no time for tactics. Played 21 years for Lierse.

    35 Odilon Polleunis 01/05/1943 Attacker
    Very stylish Limburger who had talent for sale, but did not extract all through a lack of ambition. As an attacking midfielder he had a pure pass and a brilliant shot. At Sint-Truiden he won the Golden Shoe in 1968, but his real highlight was the title with RWDM in 1975. It was difficult to finish a whole match in a remotely concentrated way.

    36 Pierre Hanon 29/12/1936 Midfielder
    Born Anderlecht, with purple-white from left midfielder and defender at Cercle, from his debut in 1954 to 1970. Excellent long pass and attacking set player who fitted perfectly with the artists team of that time, and in the then national team. Without doubt a princely football player with a great posture.

    37 Franky Van der Elst 30/04/1961 Midfielder
    At RWDM the successor of Jan Boskamp. After his transfer to Club Brugge for years, one of the strongholders in Belgian football. He read the game like no other, which earned him the nickname The Fox. Became the figurehead at Club after the farewell of Jan Ceulemans in the 90s. In addition to five national titles and four trophies, he also won the Golden Boot in 1990 and 1996.

    38 Christian Piot 04/10/1947 Goalkeeper
    Keeper with a great look, big and strong, broad-shouldered. Complete goalkeeper without weaknesses, very sober. Fixed value under the bar of the Red Devils in the seventies. Was three times in a row champion with Standard and won the Golden Shoe in 1972. Powerful, good on high and low balls, great reflexes. No frills, but sober work. Good goalkeeper and third at the european championships of 1972.

    39 Louis Van Hege 08/05/1889 Attacker
    The very first foreign star of AC Milan, who removed him from Union in 1910. In five years, the goal-oriented dribbler made 97 goals in 88 matches in the Serie A. By the readers of the Gazzetta dello Sport voted the most popular football player in Italy. At the outbreak of World War I called to arms. Won later on the OS of 1920 Olympic football gold.
    Gregoriak repped this.
  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    20 Raoul Lambert 22/10/1944 Attacker
    Lambert was the figurehead of Club in the sixties and seventies and was voted the best Bruges player of all time. Made during eighteen years in blue-black 216 competition goals despite his injury sensitivity. Was especially feared for his sharp accelerations, won five titles with Club, three cups and lost two European finals. Was a model of sportsmanship and club loyalty.

    21 Roger Claessen 27/09/1941 Attacker
    Powerful and efficient midfielder from the ambitious Standard of the 60s. He was voted best Rouche in club history, his image adorns at the entrance of the stadium. But Roger la Honte lived as uninhibitedly off the field as he did on the field, which slowed down his career prematurely. Opened a cafe and was his best customer himself.

    22 Frankie Vercauteren 28/10/1956 Midfielder
    Gifted flank player who could curve crosses like no other. Those developed into his absolute trademark. The Prince of the Astridpark was for many years captain of Anderlecht and basic player of the Red Devils in the 80s. Won three european cups with purple-white. Then played at Nantes and RWDM, won the Golden Shoe in 1983.

    23 Dries Mertens 06/05/1987 Attacker
    Simple judged as too small and too frail for Belgian top-class football, but in the Netherlands via AGOVV Apeldoorn, FC Utrecht and PSV left for Italy in 2013. At Napoli he started on the left flank, but mainly caused a furore as a fast-scoring number nine. Made in over five years Napoli already more than 100 goals in all competitions, and was the first Belgian to score ten times in the Champions League.

    24 Raymond Braine 28/04/1907 Attacker
    The first Red Devil with international appeal in professional football that Belgium knew about. Became top scorer with Beerschot in 1928 and 1929, but because every monetary gain was forbidden in Belgium, he went to the then European top club Sparta Prague. There, too, he made his mark and won two national titles and the Mitropacup, forerunner of the European Cup.

    25 Ludo Coeck 25/09/1955 Midfielder
    Player with the most famous long distance shot from the Belgian football history. His goals with the Red Devils against El Salvador and the former GDR are legendary. Coeck was successful at Anderlecht in the 70s and early 80s, then moved to Inter where he was struggling with injuries. In 1985 he sadly died in a car accident and was missed in Mexico.

    26 Erwin Vandenbergh 26/01/1959 Striker
    Few had a nose for goals like him. With 254 goals, the best Belgian shooter from the full-professional era. Was top scorer six times: three times with Lierse, twice with Anderlecht and once with KAA Gent. With Lierse he became in 1980 even European top scorer with 39 goals. At the 1982 World Cup he made the opening goal against Argentina. Always remained very modest.

    27 Wilfried Puis 18/02/1943 Attacker
    One of the better wing players. With inimitable dribbles, the born Oostender wiped off the left flank at Anderlecht and then advanced to Van Himst. A dream combination with the Red Devils and purple-white, where he became champion five times in a row. Was introverted from the outside but emphatically present in the group.

    28 Lei Clijsters 06/11/1956 Defender
    Alternating midfielder or defender, but with his excellent position game the best at ease as libero. He broke through with Waterschei with whom he reached the semi-final of European Cup II and with KV Mechelen he achieved the great European successes, including victory in European Cup II in 1988, title and cup. His dedication and winning mentality earned him the Golden Shoe in 1988. Father of another elite sporter.

    29 René Vandereycken 22/07/1953 Midfielder
    The first clearly conceptualized ball playing defensive midfielder we saw here. Smart, seasoned, leg-hardened and very self-conscious. The Belgian Van Hanegem, so to speak, also in the eyes of Happel. Excellent positional game. Live through the big successes at Club Brugge with Happel, then was also successful at Anderlecht and ended his career at KAA Gent, after trips abroad at Genoa and Blau-Weiss Berlin.
    Gregoriak repped this.
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    10 Thibaut Courtois 11/05/1992 Goalkeeper
    Because of the injuries by two Genk goalkeepers in April 2009 he was as a 16-year-old dropped in the meadow. The beginning of a top career. Two years later, he provided Genk's most recent title and won a transfer to a top league. An ice rabbit in goal. Won four country titles in three countries, three cups in as many countries and the Europa League (with Atlético). Became in 2014 as the first Belgian footballer ever Sportman of the Year.

    11 Jef Jurion 24/02/1937 Midfielder
    The jeune premier of Anderlecht in the late 50's. Not only a master in the combination, a talented game distributor with a great shot, but also intelligent and cunning. Between 1956 and 1968 nine-time champion with purple-white, won the Golden Shoe twice, and kept the nickname Mister Europe to the goal with which he kicked Real Madrid out of the European Cup in 1962.

    12 Jean-Marie Pfaff 04/12/1953 Goalkeeper
    From zero to hero, the expression fits him like a glove. The poor boy from the Waasland became a phenomenon at Beveren, where he won the championship and won the Golden Boot, but his performance at the large institution Bayern Munich in particular made him a star at home. With his acrobatic way of goalkeeping world top with the Red Devils; in 1987 elected World Keeper of the Year.

    13 Laurent Verbiest 16/04/1939 Defender
    Seen as the Belgian Beckenbauer, one of the best defenders in this country ever. A libero tailored to Anderlecht, with style and class. Connected shape and strength to technique and ball feeling. Surprisingly fast, with a dribble to make attackers jealous. Footballed out with care. The Oostdenaar left life much too early after a ride back home at the age of 27.

    14 Michel Preud'homme 24/01/1959 Goalkeeper
    He was still at school when he made his debut with both Standard and Red Devils. Replaced at Standard club monument Christian Piot and became champion twice. After the bribery affair he had a second career at smaller KV Mechelen where he won not only national prizes (title, cup, Golden Shoe) but also European Cup II. At 35, he moved to Benfica where he played until his 39th. Still famous abroad for his 1994 World Cup performance.

    15 Eric Gerets 18/05/1954 Defender
    The militant and blood-fanatical Limburger won two titles, a cup and a Golden Shoe, as an unyielding right back and captain of Standard. After the bribery affair, he experienced a second youth at PSV (six national titles), and was the first Belgian ever to receive the European Cup. Was also captain of the successful generation Red Devils in the 80s. With his beard on top a recognizable player of his time.

    16 Axel Witsel 12/01/1989 Midfielder
    Metronome. Rarely injured, often the player with the most playing minutes. Connects an enormous walking ability to physical strength, reliable technique and game insight. Counts himself away for the benefit of the team, but always useful and available for the ball, barely losing the ball. Became a champion with the Rouches twice as a youth product of Standard. After periods at Benfica, Zenit and Tianjin Quanjian now moving from strength to strength with Dortmund. Initially criticized for the wrong career choices and uncomfortable incidents, but might end up with more accolades as contemporaries stuck in England.

    17 Enzo Scifo 19/02/1966 Midfielder
    Technically gifted central attacking midfielder. From his early debut as a 17-year-old with Anderlecht he impressed. He opted for Belgium and not for Italy, but in 1987, after three country titles with Anderlecht, he went to Italy. After wandering around Inter, Bordeaux, Auxerre, Torino and Monaco, he returned to purple-white in 1997. Made four World Cups. Real footballer and abroad one of our more famous players.

    18 Marc Degryse 04/09/1965 Attacker
    The little one from Ardooie turned out to be a quick and agile striker at Club Brugge at a young age, dribbling, one-twos, wall passing and often scoring. At Anderlecht he grew into a real captain and maybe the most defining player of his generation. Won the Golden Boot in 1991, still played at PSV and closed his player career in 2002 with Germinal Beerschot.

    19 Luc Nilis 25/05/1967 Attacker
    For a long time the man with the most beautiful kicking technique from his native country. Made breathtakingly beautiful goals. Went from Winterslag to Anderlecht at a young age where he became champion four times. Tapped his potential at PSV where he arrived in 1994. In 1995 he became the Player of the Year in the Netherlands, and in the subsequent two years top shooter of the Eredivisie. Appreciated highly by a handful illustrious team-mates, had his moments in the Champions League and was almost topscorer there, but his many disappearance acts for the Red Devils inhibits a higher place.
    Gregoriak, PDG1978 and comme repped this.
  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    1 Eden Hazard 07/01/1991 - Attacker
    Brilliant, technically skilled left sided forward. Eden was named by his parents, who found their first child a piece of paradise in home, but also a piece of paradise on the football fields. Man of the individual action, and an example of game fun and Fair Play. Made name when he won the semi-finals against Spain with the Belgian U17 in 2007 at the European Championships in his own country. As a youth player he was able to go to Anderlecht, but opted for the training at Lille OSC with which he won in 2011 title and cup. Was that year and the year thereafter elected French Footballer of the Year. Chelsea bought him in 2012 and with the London club, the forward won two league titles, the FA Cup and in 2013 also the Europa League. For ten years a fixed value with the national team, where he gradually became the main player on the left flank. Best man in Belgium also at the 2018 World Cup where the Red Devils ended third. After initially some accused him of arrogance, Eden Hazard keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Wanted to go to Real Madrid last summer, but did not struggle when Chelsea kept his contract. Just picked up the thread at the London club again.

    2 Paul Van Himst 02/10/1943 - Attacker
    Four Golden Shoes, three times top scorer, eight times champion, four times cup winner, but always playing for one club. He ignored the offers of foreign clubs, even after he finished fourth in 1965 in the referendum for European Footballer of the Year. The graceful exponent of the eye-catching football with which Anderlecht achieved reputation in the sixties and seventies, but sometimes too little conqueror. Worked between 1959 and 1974 no less than 566 matches for Purple & White, in which he scored 235 times. Record holder for the number of matches, until Olivier Deschacht dethroned him. He won his first Golden Boot at seventeen, with which he was the youngest winner. The last one he got in 1974, just before he exchanged Anderlecht for RWDM. Nobody else won the trophy so often. Most of the time wandering around a deep striker and dribbling with the outside foot, he drove the defenders to despair. Was with 81 caps also long record holders at the Red Devils, until Jan Ceulemans succeeded him. After that, until 2017, he was good for most goals for the Red Devils (30), together with Bernard Voorhoof. He also lost that record to Romelu Lukaku.

    3 Kevin De Bruyne 28/06/1991 - Midfielder
    A Gentenaar who opted for the training at KRC Genk and immediately caused a furore. He played mainly on the left flank of the blue-whites, but later on abroad became more and more central. With nice goals and fine assists, he had a large share in the Genk cup win (2009) and national title (2011). Sees the solutions and perform them often before others have seen it. Never broke through Chelsea that first lent him to Werder Bremen and later sold to Wolfsburg, where he turned out to be the conductor with the election as German Footballer of the Year as a result.
    By working on his further gradual steps, he took the right steps in his career at the right time. Played himself with his insight in the game and decisive actions and assists in the interest of the biggest top clubs and opted for Manchester City, while Bayern also insisted. With 76 million, he was the most expensive Belgian football player ever. Turned out to be one of the supporting players in the Pep Guardiola team at the Citizens. Won the Trophy of Sportsman of the Year (2015). Also with the Red Devils the driving force that makes the difference over the years.

    4 Vincent Kompany 10/04/1986 Defender
    As a son of a Belgian mum and a Congolese father, the self-confident and socially committed Brussels resident became the embodiment of the new Belgian. Powerful defender, always looking for a football solution. Debuted in 2003 as seventeen-year-old in Purple & White in the Champions League. Won two titles at Anderlecht. After two years of Hamburger SV he has been playing at Manchester City for more than ten years.

    5 Wilfried Van Moer 01/03/1945 Midfielder
    Strategic ingenuity, walking ability, balled in barely 1.70 meters. The polyvalence in person: co-defending, dividing the game or scoring, he could do it all. A box-to-box avant la lettre. After his Golden Boot with Antwerp he celebrated with Standard successes (three titles, two more Golden Shoes) and made after several broken legs a remarkbly comeback with the national team (EK 1980 and WK 1982).

    6 Jan Ceulemans 28/02/1957 Attacker
    Driving force behind a new period of boom at Club Brugge in the 80s and with the Red Devils with which he became vice-European champion (1980) and fourth at the World Championships in 1986. Up to 2017, record international. Thanks to his strength, dedication and perseverance he got the nickname Strong Jan, but the Caje was mainly a clever player. Rejected a top offer from AC Milan, at hindsight the right decision.

    7 Rik Coppens 29/04/1930 Attacker
    A genius in an era that gave time and space to genius. Shimmering and good-natured flamboyant Antwerpian with brilliant raids, always a guts on the field and a public player like no other, but not always efficient. Entertaining the public always came first. He only won individual prizes: he was top scorer twice and won a Golden Shoe.

    8 Romelu Lukaku 13/05/1993 Attacker
    Made his debut at the age of sixteen at Anderlecht and for the Red Devils. In 2011 he moved to Chelsea, which lent him to West Bromwich Albion and Everton. That bought him in 2014 to sell him 84 million euros in 2017 to Manchester United, the highest amount ever paid for a Belgian. Became a top striker of the Red Devils at the age of 24. So far unfortunate and not that happy in Manchester.

    9 Jef Mermans 16/02/1922 Attacker
    No one who could brag the balls in the net like Mermans. With the head or the foot, that did not matter for De Bombardier. He was not a dribbler, but deadly efficient. Transferred during World War II from Tubantia Borgerhout to Anderlecht for a record amount of 125,000 francs (just over 3,000 euros). After the war, he was crucial in making Purple & White the leading club in the country ever since.
    Gregoriak, peterhrt, comme and 1 other person repped this.
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    This was the vote by 1500 readers, made independent of the editors (thus not knowing the editors list and we have to trust also not vice versa).

    1. Hazard
    2. Ceulemans
    3. Polleunis
    4. Scifo
    5. Cools
    6. Van Himst
    7. De Bruyne
    8. Van Moer
    9. Gerets
    10. Courtois
    11. Pfaff
    12. Maurice Martens
    13. Coppens
    14. Kompany
    15. Mertens
    16. Nilis
    17. Preud'homme
    18. Louis van Hege
    19. Witsel
    20. Lukaku
    21. Piot
    22. Degryse
    23. Vercauteren
    24. Clijsters
    25. Vandenbergh
    26. Nianggolan
    27. Luis Oliveira
    28. Claessen
    29. Coeck
    30. Van Buyten
    31. Timmy Simons
    32. Raoul Lambert
    33. Jef Mermans
    34. Wilmots
    35. Vertonghen
    36. Voorhoof
    37. Josip Weber
    38. Philippe Albert
    39. Jurion
    40. Mees
    41. Francois van der Elst
    42. Verbiest
    43. Franky van der Elst
    44. Grün
    45. Fellaini
    46. Raymond Braine
    47. Vandereycken
    48. Lemberechts
    49. Meeuws
    50. Puis


    Will try an 'analysis' later.
    Gregoriak, peterhrt, msioux75 and 2 others repped this.
  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #84 PuckVanHeel, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019

    Comparison with the editors list in parentheses (behind comma the 2015 position if applicable, which was only for post-1974):

    1. Hazard (1, 1)
    2. Ceulemans (6, 3)
    3. Polleunis (35)
    4. Scifo (17, 8)
    5. Cools (46)
    6. Van Himst (2)
    7. De Bruyne (3, 9)
    8. Van Moer (5, 4)
    9. Gerets (15, 5)
    10. Courtois (10, 2)
    11. Pfaff (12, 6)
    12. Maurice Martens (new)
    13. Coppens (7)
    14. Kompany (4)
    15. Mertens (23)
    16. Nilis (19)
    17. Preud'homme (14, 7)
    18. Louis van Hege (39)
    19. Witsel (16)
    20. Lukaku (8)
    21. Piot (38)
    22. Degryse (18)
    23. Vercauteren (22)
    24. Clijsters (28)
    25. Vandenbergh (26)
    26. Nianggolan (new)
    27. Luis Oliveira (new)
    28. Claessen (21)
    29. Coeck (25, 10)
    30. Van Buyten (47)
    31. Timmy Simons (41)
    32. Raoul Lambert (20)
    33. Jef Mermans (9)
    34. Wilmots (32)
    35. Vertonghen (31)
    36. Voorhoof (34)
    37. Josip Weber (new)
    38. Philippe Albert (30)
    39. Jurion (11)
    40. Mees (33)
    41. Francois van der Elst (40)
    42. Verbiest (13)
    43. Franky van der Elst (37)
    44. Grün (45)
    45. Fellaini (49)
    46. Raymond Braine (24)
    47. Vandereycken (29)
    48. Lemberechts (43)
    49. Meeuws (new)
    50. Puis (27)

    Goyvaerts (50), Dewalque (48), Vandendaele (44), Dembele (42) and Hanon (36) make it in the editors list but aren't chosen by readers.

    The most eye catching thing is the readers put Maurice Martens in at #12. He won 'footballer of the year' once (1973, podium finisher in 1972 and 1974) and was the only player who won bronze in 1972 and silver in 1980 with the national team - all the other players were different (Van Moer broke his leg against Italy in the 1972 quarter finals). Next to his above average footballing ability (for his position) it starts to make some sense.

    I personally think Braine is too low compared to the other 'black and white' players. Maybe that for some Witsel his high place (next to his contemporaries) is surprising.

    Combining both 2019 lists (combined points by editors and readers):

    2 Hazard
    8 Ceulemans
    8 Van Himst
    10 De Bruyne
    13 Van Moer
    18 Kompany
    20 Coppens
    20 Courtois
    21 Scifo
    23 Pfaff
    24 Gerets
    28 Lukaku
    31 Preud'homme
    35 Nilis
    35 Witsel
    38 Polleunis
    38 Mertens
    40 Degryse
    42 Mermans
    45 Vercauteren
    49 Claessen
    50 Jurion
    51 Cools
    51 Vandenbergh
    52 Clijsters
    52 Lambert
    54 Coeck
    55 Verbiest
    57 Van Hege
    59 Piot
    66 Wilmots
    66 Vertonghen
    68 Albert
    70 Braine
    70 Voorhoof
    72 T. Simons
    73 Mees
    76 Vandereycken
    77 Van Buyten
    77 Puis
    80 Franky van der Elst
    81 Francois van der Elst
    89 Grün
    91 Lemberechts
    94 Fellaini
    Gregoriak, peterhrt and PDG1978 repped this.
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Remembered later Arie Haan was stuck at 35 caps for (in part) that reason too. As noted here.
  11. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    #86 msioux75, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    I'd like to know that source.

    In the Marca thread I created, Goyvaerts didn't appeared in the top-50 any season.
    Because he played very few. At most 15 games at one season.

    btw, great read :thumbsup:
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    #87 PuckVanHeel, Jan 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019

    I made a typo there. He went in 1965 to Barcelona and the 1962 date is something I failed to correct from google translate. The 'tone' and content of the text is however an accurate translation.

    Yes I will look whether I can find an original source. More contemporary Spanish sources mention it, so it's not (solely) an invention by the locals at home.

    Obituaries from 2004 mention it as well:

    Or an Elche fan website:

    He featured in 19 competitive matches that year, plus 3 friendlies

    I wanted to check the World Soccer issues, but I don't have the one of June and July 1965. Didn't see something in the May issue (effectively published in April).

    Also saw the football mad Spanish digital archives give quite a few hits, and even the Dutch digital archive has 100+ articles on him at Barcelona. This is also interesting.

    Clearly there is a reason why he's put at #50 and not higher. The story and trivia helps.


    Something like Ceulemans being poached by AC Milan is easier to verify, because he posed with a Milan shirt next to the board/directors of Milan. As noted on his English wiki and more detailed Italian wiki
  13. Ariaga II

    Ariaga II Member

    Dec 8, 2018
    Nothing in those issues after a quick glance. The Goyvaerts-case has always intrigued me, too. If he was good enough to win that award, how come he played so little?

    Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that Spain had the ban on foreigners going on at the time, so there weren't that many players to choose from. But why even hand out such an award if there are so few candidates they gotta give it to a player who barely plays?
    msioux75 repped this.
  14. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Maybe just based on reputation he gained from even being on a club like Barca at that time.
  15. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    Fair comments.

    As Ariaga told, by then, the old guard was over and also the ban lifted to new foreigners, but even in his 15 marches he got a 1.33 rating, far from a top-50.
  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    He was injured a lot. Playing around 50% of the games he was eligible for might still be sufficient for an impression.

    I don't think he was in his own country rated particularly high at that time. Not put in the same bracket as a Coppens or so.

    It's not like how Ben Barek was at one point maybe the peer of Kubala, or later a Wilkes.

    That Real Madrid transferred him is also an award in a way.

    This was just after the Tejada and Evaristo transfers (those two were with Suarez the most productive players of the club the past five years, but Madrid bought them away). Club policy was to look for pivotal Barca players around that early 60s time. Club topscorers Tejada and Evaristo certainly were.
  17. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Kubala never played more than 20 games in the seasons he won the league. And played in the three seasons he won the Latin Cup or the Fairs Cup (twice) never more than 3 games in any campaign, 8 games in total.

    Food for thought about what was a representative number of games at that time.
  18. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    In the Marca thread, I considered 60% of the games, the minimum.

    That's it, 30 x 0.6 = 18 matches.
    PuckVanHeel repped this.
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Also think Hazard will do himself a favor by stepping up more in the CL


    In 43 and 44 games.

    Van Himst so far the better European track record, I think.
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    I saw a fine/decent retrospective article on Laurent Verbiest here:

    "Laurent Verbiest (1939-1966), libero avant la lettre ['before the term was coined']

    Ostend. Lying on the west coast of Belgium, city of the cartoonists Kamagurka and Herr Seele and the lascivious model Wendy van Wanten. Tourist center and fishing town. The Second World War and the rise of mass tourism, with associated development of the coastal region, completely destroyed the belle-epoque image, but Ostend continued to become the seaside resort of Belgium. On April 16, 1939, Laurent Verbiest is born here. A sturdy, blond boy who spends hours on his father's fishing boat. Laurent will make a career in Belgian football. Until fate overtook him on a chilly Wednesday evening in February 1966.

    In Top 100 of Belgian football, a book by the Flemish journalists Jan Wauters and Walter Pauli, Laurent Verbiest is number six. He is the first defender we meet. Just below the 'Big Five' of Belgium: Rik Coppens, Jan Ceulemans, Wilfried Van Moer, Paul Van Himst and Jef Mermans. But higher than Eric Gerets, whom we know so well in the Netherlands and appreciated well, higher than Jurion and Coeck, much higher than Scifo (20th) and Nilis (25th). Is it the myth that pushed Verbiest up in history?
    Still, the loss of the defender Verbiest after 1966 was tangible in attacking respect. Anderlecht scored 77, 87 and 88 times in the seasons ending in 1964, 1965 and 1966, the two years after (when Verbiest was no longer there) the net was found 63 and 67 times. A serious difference."
    Gregoriak and comme repped this.
  21. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    The Dutch magazine 'Tardelli' (which is somewhat a niche magazine, dealing with football history) asked their readers to send in their top 10 Belgian footballers, the March 2019 edition. It's nice to compare this to the aforementioned lists in this same thread.

    "The second half of the 1970s and 1980s were the high marks for Belgian football, something that had to wait for this decade until this became approached. We asked our readers who they see as the best Belgian footballers of all time. It is not surprising players from these two episodes dominate our top 25. Frankie van der Elst and Johnny 'Tuborg' Thio did not make our top 25. Who did? You read it here below."

    25. Verbiest
    24. Degryse
    23. Piot
    22. Braine
    21. Lambert
    20. Lukaku
    19. Vandenbergh
    18. Jurion
    17. Pfaff
    16. Vandereycken
    15. Mermans
    14. Vercauteren
    13. Courtois
    12. Kompany
    11. Gerets
    10. Coppens
    9. Scifo
    8. Coeck
    7. Preud'homme
    6. Van Moer
    5. Nilis
    4. De Bruyne
    3. Ceulemans
    2. Van Himst
    1. Hazard

    All write-ups are equally long, and copy here below an excerpt of what is said about Hazard.

    "One fine top name, and a Belgian footballer who can call himself an international star at an European elite club. Only for that his selection as the best Belgian footballer ever understandable. With Hazard on the ball often something happens in a match. Can dribble, pass, create and even score if he's pressed. In short, all you want from an attacker. What is potentially missing then to really enter the gallery of honor in his time and join the queue of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar? Maybe those really big prizes, maybe an impression in the Champions League. Has to move away from Chelsea most probably. With the national team there is sufficient time to add a few more impressions, matches and moments - and that also applies to the number four in this list."

    See post #84 and above for a comparison with the attempts by the Belgians themselves.
    comme and PDG1978 repped this.

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