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Koninklijke Racing Club Genk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋkləkə ˈreːsɪŋ ˌklɵp ˈɣɛŋk]),[3] commonly known as KRC Genk, Racing Genk or simply Genk, is a Belgian professional football club based in the city of Genk in Belgian Limburg. Racing Genk plays in the Belgian Pro League and have won four championship titles; in 1998–99, in 2001–02, in 2010–11 and in 2018–19. They also won four Belgian Cups, most recently in 2008–09 and in 2012–13. They qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage in the 2002–03, 2011–12 and 2019–20 seasons.

KRC Genk
K.C.R. Genk club crest
Full nameKoninklijke Racing Club Genk
Nickname(s)Blauw-Wit (Blue-White), Racing, KRC, De Smurfen (The Smurfs)
Founded1988 (merged with KFC Winterslag)
GroundLuminus Arena, Genk
21,500 (UEFA matches)[2]
ChairmanPeter Croonen
ManagerFelice Mazzu
LeagueBelgian First Division A
2018–19Belgian First Division A, 1st
WebsiteClub website

The club formed in 1988 by the merger of Waterschei Thor with KFC Winterslag, from which it took over the matricule number. It has been one of the most successful clubs in Belgium since the late 1990s and so they regularly qualify for European competitions. The club has been playing in the first division since the 1996–97 season. They play their home matches in the Luminus Arena. Their main outfit is blue and white.

Support: Genk fans have established a close friendship with the supporters of Petrolul Ploiești (Peluza Latină) from Romania.



KFC Winterslag history (1923–88)Edit

The club FC Winterslag was founded in 1923 and that gave it the matricule number 322. On its 35th anniversary the club added the Royal prefix Koninklijke to their name to become KFC Winterslag. In 1972–73 Winterslag reached the second division and they eventually qualified for the 1974–75 Belgian First Division after finishing second in the second division final round. They had taken advantage of the increase in the number of first division clubs (from 16 to 20). The club ended the season in last place but won the second division right after.

KFC Winterslag reached the 5th place in 1981 which allowed them to play UEFA Cup matches, where it defeated Bryne FK from Norway and English Premier league giant FC Arsenal.[4] In the next round it was knocked out by Dundee United from Scotland. Two seasons later it was relegated to the second stage after a disappointing last place. That season Standard Liège won the championship on bribery in a match against the club of Waterschei Thor that would eventually merge with the matricule number 322. Following a spell of four seasons in the second division, Winterslag found its place again in the first division by winning the 1987 final round, one point ahead of Tongeren. It finished 15th on 18 but at the end of the season, the club merged with the neighbour club of Waterschei Thor which was playing in the second division since its relegation in 1986.

K Waterschei SV Thor GenkEdit

K Waterschei SV Thor was created in 1919 as Waterschei's Sport Vereeniging Thor with Thor being the acronym of Tot Herstel Onzer Rechten (English: To recover our rights). It received matricule number n°533. The club enjoyed a spell in the first division in the late 1950s to the early 1960s and again from 1978 to 1986. After two seasons in the second division, K. Waterschei SV Thor Genk merged with KFC Winterslag to form KRC Genk.

During the 1982–83 season, the match between Standard Liège-Waterschei had been fixed and Standard eventually won the championship. Waterschei won the Belgian Cup twice (1980 and 1982). Quite remarkably, the latter victory led to Waterschei reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup in the 1982–83 season. After defeating PSG in the quarter-finals, Waterschei lost the first leg of the semi-final 5–1 at Pittodrie Stadium, home of the eventual winners, Aberdeen A 1–0 victory in Waterschei, courtesy of Eddy Voordeckers, could not reverse the position. They then merged with Winterslag in 1988 to form the current club.

K.R.C. Genk history (1988–present)Edit

The new club was named KRC Genk and as it kept the Winterslag ranking, it began in the first division but finished last. The next year Genk managed to win the final round in 2nd division and then played 4 seasons in the first division. In 1995 the club hired Aimé Anthuenis a coach and Racing finished second and skipped the final round as two first division teams merged (Seraing and Standard Liège). After an eighth place in 1997, the club had a good 1997–98 season with a cup win and a second place in the championship. In its first European season, Racing Genk eliminated successively Apolonia Fier and MSV Duisburg but it lost to Mallorca in the round of 16 after two draws (1–1 on aggregate) in the last Cup Winners' Cup ever. The season was ended well as Genk won its first Belgian championship in May, with manager Aimé Anthuenis then moving to Anderlecht.

Genk played in the UEFA Champions League in 1999–00 but lost in the second qualifying round to Maribor. The season was salvaged by winning the Belgian Cup again, this time to Standard, but Genk ended the championship in 9th place. It finished 11th in the following season and lost in the UEFA Cup second round to Werder Bremen after a win against FC Zürich. After this poor spell, Genk managed to win the championship once more in the 2001–02 season. In 2002–03, they reached the Champions League group stages for the first time in their history. Although they came 4th, they impressed fans with draws against Real Madrid, Roma and AEK Athens.

In the 2006–07 season, Genk finished second to Anderlecht. The Limburgians had been ahead almost the entire season but were pipped at the post by Anderlecht after losing at Germinal Beerschot. The 2007–08 season was a disaster, as Genk didn't even manage to finish in the top half of the division, ending with a disappointing tenth place.

Three bad seasons followed. Genk finished the 2007–08 season 45 points and a 10th spot in the league: the worst result in seven years. The 2008–09 season was bad for Genk as well, finishing 8th in the domestic league. The season ended on a positive note with by winning the Belgian Cup, which gave them a ticket to the fourth Europa League qualifying round. The 2009–10 season Genk started off badly when they were kicked out of the Europa League by Lille. Things didn't go well in the domestic league either. Manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck was fired in December and was replaced by Franky Vercauteren. Genk finished 11th, but Vercauteren managed to lead the club to European football by beating derby rival Sint-Truiden in the final of Play-offs II.

The 2010–11 season started well for KRC Genk when they beat Inter Turku with 1–5 in Finland. They progressed to the 4th qualifying round of the Europa League and drew the Portuguese club Porto. Genk lost both games against Porto, despite two good performances.

On 30 January 2010 KRC Genk announced that coach Franky Vercauteren signed a new contract that runs till June 2013.

They only lost their first game of the season on the 20th matchday and started the Play-offs in second place. The club won the 2010–11 Belgian Pro League after drawing 1–1 with title challengers Standard Liége.[5] This was KRC Genk's third League win in its existence and its supporters celebrated with a pitch invasion straight after the final whistle.

On 11 August, coach Frank Vercauteren confirmed he was leaving Genk and signed with Abu Dhabi club Al-Jazira. In the 3rd Qualifying Round of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League KRC Genk beat FK Partizan over two legs and drew Maccabi Haifa in the play-off Round. Maccabi Haifa beat Genk 2–1 in the first leg in Israel, while the second leg was won by Genk with the same 2–1 score in Belgium. During the penalty shoot-out, goalkeeper László Köteles helped Genk to qualify by saving two penalties.[6] For the second time in its history, KRC Genk reached the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. They were drawn in Group E with Chelsea, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen.

In late August 2011, Mario Been was announced as the new manager. The Champions League campaign was one with ups and downs. Genk managed to get a 1–1 result against both Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen and a goalless draw against Valencia. Away from home, Genk lost all three games. The season in the Jupiler League was a difficult one, with Genk only just qualifying for the play-offs by finishing sixth in the regular competition. In the play-offs however, Genk started to play better and climbed up to third place. By finishing in third place, KRC Genk qualified for the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

The 2012–13 season started well for Genk by qualifying for the Europa League group stage after beating Aktobe and FC Luzern. In this group stage KRC Genk performed very well and ultimately won the group without a single defeat. Genk finished first with three points more than Basel and by doing so, qualified for the next round where they would face VfB Stuttgart. It would be the first time in the club's history that they played European football after Christmas. Stuttgart was the better of Genk over the two games. In the league, Genk qualified for the play-offs and performed well until the title was out of reach, fifth place was the result. Genk ended their season on a positive note, by winning the Belgian Cup. They defeated Cercle Brugge in the final, in front of 30,000 Genk fans.

In the 2016–2017 season, Genk participated in the UEFA Europa League; they started playing in the second qualifying round and qualified for the third qualifying round (on 21 July 2016)[7] and the play-off round (on 4 August 2016).[8]

Later on, Genk won the 2018–19 Belgian First Division A for the fourth time in their history, hence they qualify for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League after an eight-year absence.[9]

Youth academyEdit

Genk is well known for its outstanding youth academy. In 2003 they built their youth center next to their stadium and set up a youth program with Ronny Vangeneugden. There are further plans to build a boarding school and some synthetic pitches. In the past and now, many young players have found their way through the youth system. Some examples are Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid), Jelle Vossen (Club Brugge), Dennis Praet (Sampdoria), Steven Defour (Burnley), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Divock Origi (Liverpool), Timothy Castagne (Atalanta Bergamo) and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Their scouting is also highly regarded. Players like Kalidou Koulibaly, Wilfred Ndidi, Leon Bailey and Sergej Milinković-Savić all played for Genk.


Winners (4): 1998–99, 2001–02, 2010–11, 2018–19
Runners-up (2): 1997–98, 2006–07
Winners (1): 1975–76
Runners-up (2): 1986–87, 1995–96
Winners (2): 1987, 1990
Runners-up (1):1974
Winners (4): 1997–98, 1999–00, 2008–09, 2012–13
Runners-up (1): 2017–18
Winners (2): 2011, 2019
Runners-up (6): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2013

European recordEdit

Updated 31 August 2018.
Tournament P W D L GF GA GD Win%
Champions League / European Cup 22 5 8 9 20 41 −21 022.73
Europa League / UEFA Cup 60 34 12 14 117 80 +37 056.67
Cup Winners' Cup 6 3 3 0 16 3 +13 050.00
UEFA Intertoto Cup 10 5 2 3 19 13 +6 050.00
Total 98 47 25 26 172 137 +35 047.96

A = appearances, P = matches played, W = won, D = drawn, L = lost, GF = goals for, GA = goals against.

Summary of best resultsEdit

From the quarter-finals upwards:

UEFA Intertoto Cup:

- semi-finalists in 2004

UEFA club coefficient rankingEdit

As of 2 August 2018, Source: [1]

Rank Team Points
55   APOEL FC 27.000
56   K.A.A. Gent 27.000
57   K.R.C. Genk 29.000
58   AZ Alkmaar 25.000
59   Legia Warsaw 24.500


Current squadEdit

As of 16 July 2019[10]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Danny Vukovic
2   DF Casper de Norre
3   DF Bojan Nastić
4   MF Dries Wouters
5   DF Neto Borges
6   DF Sébastien Dewaest
7   MF Junya Ito (on loan from Kashiwa Reysol)
8   MF Bryan Heynen
10   FW Mbwana Samatta
11   MF Joseph Paintsil
14   FW Benjamin Nygren
15   FW Stephen Odey
16   MF Dante Vanzeir
19   MF Jakub Piotrowski
20   MF Ivan Fiolić
21   DF Jere Uronen
No. Position Player
23   MF Ianis Hagi
24   DF Amine Khammas
25   MF Sander Berge
26   GK Maarten Vandevoordt
27   MF Theo Bongonda
29   MF Manuel Benson
30   GK Nordin Jackers
31   DF Joakim Mæhle
33   DF Jhon Lucumí
40   GK Gaëtan Coucke
46   DF Carlos Cuesta
54   MF Vladimir Screciu
77   MF Dieumerci Ndongala
93   FW Zinho Gano
  MF Pierre Zebli

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8   MF Edon Zhegrova (at Basel until 30 June 2020)



  1. ^ Luminus Arena (last check 30/03/2018)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Genk in isolation: [ˈɣɛŋk].
  4. ^ "Arsenal Humiliated In Europe On This Day". 3 November 1981.
  5. ^ "Genk pip Standard to Belgian title by Berend Scholten on". 17 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Köteles shines as Genk defeat Haifa on penalties". UEFA. 23 August 2011.
  7. ^ Budućnost Podgorica–Genk 2-0 ; UEFA report.
  8. ^ Cork–Genk 1-2 ; UEFA report.
  9. ^ "KRC Genk kan Groep des Doods loten in Champions League". (in Dutch). 28 May 2019.
  10. ^ "1ste ploeg" (in Dutch). K.R.C. Genk.

External linksEdit