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Royal Football Club de Liège (RFC Liège) is a Belgian football club from the city of Liège. It currently plays in the Belgian First Amateur Division. Its matricule is 4, meaning that it was the fourth club to register with the country's national federation, and the club was the first Belgian champion in history (5 Championships & 1 Cup). The club was also known for being 'homeless' between 1995 and 2015, but is now playing on its own ground in Rocourt. FC Liège management also made the club sadly famous for its refusal to release Jean-Marc Bosman after his contract ran out in 1990, which in turn led to the Bosman ruling, a European Court of Justice decision that caused major changes to the structure of European football. The 'philosophy' of the club is based on integration of local young players and on popular and faithful support.
|Full name||Royal Football Club de Liège|
|Nickname(s)||Les Sang et Marine |
(The Blood and Marine)
|Ground||Stade de Rocourt, |
|League||Belgian First Amateur Division|
|2017–18||Belgian Second Amateur Division C, 2nd (promoted via playoffs)|
It was founded in 1892 as "Liège Football Club" and became a member of the Belgian Football Association as "Football Club Liégeois" when it was founded in 1895. The club is the first Belgian Champion (1896) and is still the only club that has played all seasons at a national level (106 seasons in 2008–09). In 1920 the prefix Royal was added to the name of the club that already had won 3 championships (1896, 1898, 1899). In 1952 and 1953, the RFC Liège won two more championships, being at that time the only team which was able to contest the undisputed domination of Anderlecht. In 1964 Football Club Liégeois reached the Fairs Cup 1/2 finals, losing in 3 games against the winner of the Cup, Real Zaragoza. Between 1965 and 1985, there were poor results, and the club survived with the help of its own tradition: young players coming from inside the club, and faithful supporters.
At the end of the 1980s, the RFC Liège played in European competitions (notably against Benfica, Juventus, Rapid Vienna, Hibernian, Werder Bremen and Athletic Bilbao) and also won a Belgian Cup in 1990. Unfortunately, after that, bankruptcy was inevitable, and the stadium was sold and destroyed to build a movie theatre. The team joined with R.F.C. Tilleur-Saint-Nicolas, (a team from the suburb of Liège) in 1995, to become R. Tilleur F.C. de Liège.
The club went down from the First Division (which it had not left since 1945) to the Third Division. The word Tilleur was finally excluded from the team name in 2000, coming back to "RFC de Liège". Since 1995, the club has moved between the Second and Fourth Divisions, with two 3rd Division titles in 1996 and 2008. In 2008–09 the club played in the Belgian Second Division, but after just 2 seasons the club suffered back to back relegations: they eventually dropped to the Belgian Fourth Division in April 2011.
In 2015–2016 RFC Liège plays in Division 3.
In 2015 the club is back home in its new Rocourt-based ground.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Belgian First Division:
- Winners (5): 1895–96, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1951–52, 1952–53
- Runners-up (3): 1896–97, 1958–59, 1960–61
- Belgian Cup:
- Winners (1): 1989–90
- Runners-up (1): 1986–87
- Belgian Second Division:
- Winners (3): 1911–12, 1922–23, 1943–44
- Belgian Third Division:
- Winners (3): 1942–43, 1995–96, 2007
- Belgian Fourth Division:
- Winners (1): 2014–15