Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht
, usually known as Anderlecht
, is a Belgian football club
, in the Brussels Capital Region
. They are the most successful Belgian football team in European competition (with 5 trophies) as well as in the Belgian First Division
(29 championship wins). Although they were founded in 1908, they only won their first major trophy after World War II
(in 1947). Since then, they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division. They have been in the first division since 1935.
The early years (1908-1935)
Founded as Sporting Club Anderlechtois in 1908 by some football fans at the Concordia
café (rue d'Aumale
in Anderlecht), the club beat Institut Saint-Georges in its first match (11-8). As they were winning most of their matches, the secretary decided to join the official competition in 1909. They began at the regional level and at the end of the season, they had already qualified to play in the higher division. In 1913, they reached the national level, gaining promotion to the second division
. They ended the season in fourth place (behind Uccle Sport, RC Malines and FC Malinois).
Because of World War I, the championship was stopped until 1919. However, with the popularity of the team increasing, in 1917 it was decided that Anderlecht would play at the Parc Astrid (known as Parc du Meir at that time) in a new stadium. They baptized the stadium Stade Emile Versé in honor of the club's first major patron, the industrialist Emile Versé, who also allegedly chose the team colours (purple and white). In 1919-1920, they finished third but failed to qualify for the top division. Nonetheless, at the end of that season, the Belgian Football Association decided to let two more clubs play in the first division which meant that the three top clubs in the second division would be promoted. Three teams finished with 22 points behind Tilleur and Standard Liège (two teams from Liège): Anderlecht, T.S.V. Lyra and F.C. Liégeois. A play-off match was organized, which was won by Anderlecht.
The first season at the top level was tough as the club finished in 12th place. With only 15 points from 26 matches (a win being worth two points at the time) at the end of the 1922-1923 season, they were unable to secure their status in the first division. They managed to win the second division in the following season and finished 9th in first division in 1925, but were relegated again in 1926. In total, they were relegated four times in ten years to the second division (1923, 1926, 1928 and 1931), earning themselves the mockery of local rival clubs Union Saint-Gilloise and Daring de Bruxelles. They achieved their best league position up to that point in reaching fifth spot in 1930. 25 years after their formation, the club changed its name to Royal Sporting Club Anderlechtois in 1933. In 1935, they won one of the two tiers of the second division competition (the other one was won by Club Brugge) and were promoted to the first division again, where they have remained since.
First major successes (1935-1968)
Anderlecht reached fifth place again in 1939. The championship was then suspended due to World War II
for two years. Jef Mermans
, a striker
from K. Tubantia F.C.
was signed in 1942 for a fee of 125,000 Belgian francs
, a record in Belgium at that time. Anderlecht won their first league title in 1947 after having finished 2nd in 1944 and 3rd in 1946 (the championship was abandoned in 1945). Their success increased in the following years as they won 6 more titles between 1949 and 1956 (twice winning three consecutive titles) and 2 more in 1959 and 1962. In the 1960s, under the coaching of Pierre Sinibaldi
, the club even won 5 titles in a row (from 1964 until 1968), which is still a Belgian league record. The star of this team was Paul Van Himst
(topscorer in 1965, 1967 and 1969 and Belgian Golden Shoe
winner in 1960, 1961, 1965 and 1974). On September 30, 1964, the Belgian national football team
fielded 11 Anderlecht players against the Netherlands
after F.C. Liégeois
goalkeeper Delhasse was substituted, to be replaced by Jean Trappeniers
. The 10 other players were Georges Heylens
, Laurent Verbiest
, Jean Plaskie
, Jean Cornelis
, Pierre Hanon
, Joseph Jurion
, Jacky Stockman
, Johan Devrindt
, Paul Van Himst
and Wilfried Puis
. Since the arrival of Sinibaldi, the team had played in a "Brazilian
" 4-2-4 formation, a departure from the W-M tactics (defense in a W-shape and attack in an M-shape, i.e. a kind of 2-3-3-2) used by former coach, the Englishman Bill Gormlie
. After three consecutive title wins, Sinibaldi left the club and was replaced by Hungarian Andreas Beres
who coached the team to two league championships in the following two seasons.
Anderlecht played in the first Champions' Cup
in 1955, and lost both legs of their tie against MTK Budapest
. A year later, they were eliminated after the preliminary round against Manchester United
(12-0 on aggregate). In 1959, on their next venture into European competition, they lost both legs of their opening tie to Rangers
. Anderlecht then had to wait until the 1962-1963 season to compete in Europe again, and they won their first European match 1-0 with a goal by Joseph "Jef" Jurion in the second leg of their tie with Real Madrid
following a 3-3 draw in Spain
. For the first time they advanced to the second round, where they beat CSKA Sofia
before losing to Dundee
in the quarter-finals.
In 1964, after a 1-0 win at home, Anderlecht lost 2-1 at Bologna FC, and both teams had to play a third match (in Barcelona) that finished 0-0. Anderlecht finally qualified on the toss of a coin. In the second round, they were knocked out by Liverpool. The year after, they reached the quarter-finals again, this time meeting Real Madrid. But dubious refereeing in the second leg helped the Spanish to progress in the cup after a 4-3 victory on aggregate (the Belgians had won the first match 1-0). In 1966-1967 and 1967-1968, they suffered consecutive second round knockouts to Czech sides (first Dukla Prague, then Sparta Prague).
The European years (1968-1984)
Anderlecht won their next domestic title in 1972 on the last matchday of the season, with a little help from another team from Brussels. Racing White
's draw with Club Brugge, who had gone into the final round of matches as league leaders, enabled Anderlecht to claim the championship. The same year, Rob Rensenbrink
was signed from Club Brugge. In 1973, the club from Brugge won the championship at the Parc Astrid, a measure of revenge after they had finished second for five seasons in a row, while Les Mauves et Blancs
ended the season in sixth place, a poor performance (their worst since 1952). This was the beginning of a long rivalry between the two teams. A year later, Anderlecht finished on top once again with a team comprising players like Rensenbrink, Ludo Coeck
, Paul Van Himst and Attila Ladynski
. Between 1975 and 1984, Anderlecht only won one championship but they achieved considerable European success (see below). Their worst finish in the Belgian championship during this period was fifth place in 1980. Juan Lozano
, Morten Olsen
, Luka Peruzović
and coach Tomislav Ivic
all joined the following season, which culminated in a 17th championship win for Anderlecht. The season 1982-1983 was a noteworthy season for the club for numerous reasons: former Anderlecht favourite Paul Van Himst was named the new coach, there was further European success, and the rebuilding of the club stadium began in 1983. But in the domestic league, Anderlecht had to settle for second place behind Beveren
Anderlecht reached their first European final in 1970 in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which became the UEFA Cup
two years later. That year, it was decided that, in the case of teams being level on aggregate after two matches, the team that had scored the most goals away would qualify. The new rule saw Anderlecht past Dunfermline
and Newcastle United
respectively at the second and third stages of the competition (having beaten Valur Reykjavik
in the first round). In the semifinals, the team from Brussels beat Internazionale
, but after they had won the home leg of the final against Arsenal
3-1, they lost 3-0 at Highbury in the second leg.
Six years later, Anderlecht won their first European trophy, the Cup Winners' Cup. They easily eliminated Rapid Bucureşti, then Banja Luka (from Yugoslavia). The third round tie against Welsh cup winner Wrexham A.F.C., at that time playing in the old English third division, proved more difficult. They knocked East German side Zwickau out in the semifinals. It had already been decided that the final would be played at the Heysel in Brussels. This presented a good opportunity for the team from Brussels to win their first European title, and they did so with a 4-2 win over West Ham United. Rob Rensenbrink and François Van Der Elst scored twice each, while Ludo Coeck, one of the key players of the team, was injured.
Anderlecht also won the European Supercup that year against Bayern Munich, winning the home leg 4-1 after a 2-1 defeat at the Olympic Stadium).
The club's defence of the Cup Winners' Cup proved unsuccessful, losing the 1977 final to SV Hamburg (2-0). They took their revenge against the German side the following season at the second round stage of the Cup Winners' Cup, then eliminated FC Porto and FC Twente to reach the final for the third time in a row, and they won the cup again with a 4-0 victory against the FK Austria Vienna with two goals apiece from Rob Rensenbrink and Gilbert Van Binst. Again, the team won the Supercup, this time against Liverpool.
The day before the journey to Kuopion Pallotoverit for their UEFA Cup first round match in 1982, Paul Van Himst replaced Tomislav Ivic as coach. Anderlecht easily won (6-1 on aggregate), and they knocked out FC Porto (6-3 on aggregate) and Sarajevo (6-2 on aggregate) in the following two rounds. Two wins over Valencia saw the club through to the semi-finals, where they faced Bohemians Prague, who were beaten 4-1 over two legs. For their first UEFA Cup final since the UEFA Cup replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Anderlecht beat SL Benfica to win their fifth European trophy in 7 years. The key players in this Anderlecht team were Franky Vercauteren and Juan Lozano.
In 1984, Anderlecht reached the UEFA Cup final again but their route to the final was less straightforward. In the round of 16, they were leading 1-0 at RC Lens with a goal by Erwin Vandenbergh but the Frenchmen equalized with a goal from a wicked deflection which left goalkeeper Jacky Munaron helpless. At home, Anderlecht secured a 1-0 win. After beating Spartak Moscow in the quarter-finals, they lost 2-0 at Nottingham Forest. Anderlecht won the second leg 3-0 in extremely scandalous circumstances. It later emerged that the referee officiating the match had been paid a bribe totalling £27,000 by the club's chairman. In the final, Tottenham Hotspur won after a penalty shootout.
Recent years (1984-2006)
After three second-place finishes in a row, the Purple and Whites secured an easy 18th title in 1985, 11 points ahead of Club Brugge. The club scored 100 goals in 34 league matches that season. It was the first title under the coaching of Paul Van Himst, who was fired in the middle of the following season, replaced by Arie Haan
. Franky Vercauteren and Morten Olsen still featured in the team alongside players like goalkeeper Munaron, Luka Peruzović, Erwin Vandenbergh, Alex Czerniatynski
, Enzo Scifo
and Georges Grün
. In 1986, Anderlecht won the championship again, but this time after a two-legged play-off against Club Brugge. Club Brugge forced a 1-1 draw away to Anderlecht, and led 2-0 at home after thirty minutes, but Anderlecht managed to equalise.
Anderlecht won its 20th championship on the last matchday of the 1986-1987 season. They easily beat Berchem Sport (who were already relegated) while joint leaders KV Mechelen lost to Club Brugge, who needed a win to qualify for the UEFA Cup. Franky Vercauteren and Enzo Scifo were transferred in the summer and Juan Lozano had been heavily injured in a game at KSV Waregem a few months earlier. A weakened team coached by Raymond Goethals finished only 4th in 1988 behind Club Brugge, Mechelen and Antwerp, but they managed to lift the Belgian Cup for the sixth time in their history, after a 2-0 victory against Standard Liège, with goals by Luc Nilis and Eddie Krnčević. The next year, Anderlecht retained the trophy with goals by Krnčević and Jankovic (again with a 2-0 win over Standard), but finished second in the championship. After his second cup win, Raymond Goethals left for Bordeaux.
At the end of the 1992-1993 season, R.S.C. Anderlechtois merged with the women's team Brussels Dames '71 to become R.S.C. Anderlecht.
In 2000-2001, Anderlecht beat FC Porto in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League
to progress to the first group stage. They finished first in their group ahead of Manchester United, despite having lost their first group match 5-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford
and their third one 4-0 at Dynamo Kiev
. In the second group stage, they finished third behind Real Madrid and Leeds United
, securing a 2-0 victory in their last match against Real Madrid, who had already qualified for the quarter-final stage of the tournament. 2003-04 saw Anderlecht faced a very tough draw against Bayern München
- although they managed one win and a draw from their home games and put up a credible showing in the away matches, seven points and 4th place was the outcome. In seasons 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, Anderlecht again qualified for the group stage quite easily, but were drawn in a very tough group on both occasions, firstly with Valencia, Inter Milan and Werder Bremen, then with Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Betis the following season. Anderlecht lost all matches at the group stage in 2004-05
and set an unwanted Champions League record of most consecutive defeats. However, in their last match of the 2005-06
group phase, with Anderlecht already eliminated from the competition, it was Vincent Kompany
whose winning goal at Real Betis ended their nightmare run. For the 2006-07
season, Anderlecht gained direct qualification for the Champions League proper, and although they had dropped from the third into the fourth pot of the draw, they got what seemed to be an easier draw with AC Milan
, Lille OSC
and AEK Athens
. However, they disappointingly failed to win a single game, losing two and drawing four, and were eliminated from European contention altogether with 4 points in 4th place. In the UEFA Champions League 2008–09
Anderletch failed to reach the third qualifying round when losing to FC BATE
. Thus Anderletch didn't play in any European tournament that season.
Colours and badge
Anderlecht colours are purple and white, and the club's home kit is generally white with purple trim, though they did wear a black and purple home kit in the 2005-06 season, and a grey in the 2007-2008 season. In the beginning, purple was the main colour of the shirts. The motto of Anderlecht (Mens sana in corpore sano
) is written on its badge as are the three letters SCA referring to the initial name of the club (Sporting Club Anderlechtois). A crown was added in 1933 following the name change to Royal Sporting Club Anderlechtois.
Anderlecht's colours were the inspiration for Al Ain FC's colours.
R.S.C. Anderlecht play their home matches at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium located within the Parc Astrid
in the municipality of Anderlecht. The board of directors is currently considering a move to a bigger stadium that would not necessarily lie in Anderlecht.
Anderlecht has been playing in the Parc Astrid since the building of the Emile Versé Stadium in 1917. The stadium was completely rebuilt in 1983 and it was renamed in honour of the then chairman Constant Vanden Stock.
Anderlecht fans are generally considered the most demanding in Belgian football. The club has had the highest average attendance in the Belgian First Division for ten years, except in 2002-03 and 2004-05 (when KRC Genk
and Club Brugge
respectively had higher averages). Anderlecht supporters hail from all over the country and only a minority come from the Brussels Capital Region. Anderlecht counts 76 fan clubs, three of which are abroad (one in France, one in Poland
and one in Texas (USA), and 20 of which are in the province of East Flanders
For recent transfers, see R.S.C. Anderlecht season 2008-09 and List of Belgian football transfers Summer 2008.
Currently out on loan
Listed according to year of Anderlecht first-team debut (year in parentheses)
- 1960s: Jan Mulder (1965), Georges Heylens, Johan Devrindt, Jacky Stockman, Laurent Verbiest, Jean Plaskie, Jean Cornelis, Wilfried Puis, Jean Trappeniers, Maurice Martens, Julien Kialunda
- 1980s: Morten Olsen (1980), Luka Peruzović (1980), Juan Lozano (1981), Erwin Vandenbergh (1982), Georges Grün (1983), Enzo Scifo (1983), Frank Arnesen (1983), Bertrand Crasson (1985), Luc Nilis (1986), Adri van Tiggelen (1986), Filip De Wilde (1987), Stephen Keshi (1987), Luis Oliveira (1989), Marc Degryse (1989), Eddie Krnčević, René Vandereycken, Arnór Guðjohnsen, Michel De Wolf, Kenneth Brylle Larsen, Marc Emmers
- 1990s: Pär Zetterberg (1990), , Nii Lamptey (1990), John van Loen (1990), John Bosman (1991), Danny Boffin (1991), Johan Walem (1991), Philippe Albert (1992), Celestine Babayaro (1994), Glen De Boeck (1995),Gilles De Bilde (1995), Nordin Jbari (1995), Walter Baseggio (1996), Alin Stoica (1996), Bart Goor (1997), Lorenzo Staelens (1998), Tomasz Radzinski (1998), Jan Koller (1999), Geert De Vlieger
- 2000s: Yves Vanderhaeghe (2000), Laurent Fassotte (2000), Aruna Dindane (2000), Seol Ki-Hyeon (2001), Nenad Jestrović (2001), Hannu Tihinen (2002), Michał Żewłakow (2002), Clayton Zane (2002), Vincent Kompany (2003), Anthony Vanden Borre (2003), Christian Wilhelmsson (2003) Serhat Akın (2006) Nicolas Frutos (2006) Mohammed Tchite (2006) Ahmed Hassan (2007)
- 1950s-1960s: Bill Gormlie, Pierre Sinibaldi, András Béres
- 1970s-1980s: Raymond Goethals, Tomislav Ivić (1980), Paul Van Himst (1982), Arie Haan (1986)
- 1990s: Raymond Goethals (1995), Johan Boskamp (1996), René Vandereycken (1997), Arie Haan (1997), Jean Dockx (caretaker), Franky Vercauteren (caretaker)
- 2000s: Aimé Anthuenis (1999), Hugo Broos (2002), Franky Vercauteren (2005)
- Belgian First Division:
- Winners (29): 1946-47, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1958-59, 1961-62, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1980-81, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1990-91, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07
- Runners-up (19): 1943-44, 1947-48, 1952-53, 1956-57, 1959-60, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1978-79, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92, 1995-96, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2007-08
- Belgian Second Division:
- Winners (2): 1923-24, 1934-35
- Runners-up (3): 1926-27, 1928-29, 1931-32
- Belgian Cup:
- Winners (9): 1964-65, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1993-94, 2007-08
- Runners-up (3): 1965-66, 1976-77, 1996-97
- Belgian League Cup:
- Belgian Supercup:
- Winners (8): 1985, 1987, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007
- Runners-up (6): 1981, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2004
- Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu:
- Bruges Matins:
- Winners (2): 1985, 1988
- Runners-up (1): 1990
- European Cup Winners' Cup:
- Winners (2): 1975-76, 1977-78
- Runners-up (2): 1976-77, 1989-90
- UEFA Cup:
- Winners (1): 1982-83
- Runners-up (2): 1969-70, 1983-84
- European Super Cup:
- Winners (2): 1975-76, 1977-78
- As of March 5, 2006:
Club Ranking for 2008/2009 Euro Season
(Previous year rank in italics, UEFA Club Coefficients in parentheses)