Royal Antwerp F.C.

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Royal Antwerp Football Club, often simply referred to as Antwerp, is a Belgian football club based in the city of Antwerp. Founded around 1880 as Antwerp Cricket Club by English students residing in Antwerp, 15 years prior to the creation of the Royal Belgian Football Association, Antwerp is regarded as the oldest club in Belgium. At first there was no organised football played by its members, until 1887 when the football division was founded with an own board, named Antwerp Football Club. Being the oldest active club at the time, it was the first club to register to the Association in 1895. Consequently, when matriculation numbers were introduced in 1926, the club received matriculate number one.[2][3]

Royal Antwerp Football Club logo.svg
Full nameRoyal Antwerp Football Club
Nickname(s)The Great Old
De Ploeg Van ‘t Stad
Founded1880; 140 years ago (1880)
Antwerp, Belgium
OwnerPaul Gheysens
ManagerLászló Bölöni
LeagueBelgian First Division A
2018–19Belgian First Division A, 4th
WebsiteClub website


In 1900, most of the players left the club for the new neighbouring club of K. Beerschot V.A.C., and this was the start of a long rivalry between both clubs. Royal Antwerp have won four Belgian league titles so far, as well as two Belgian Cups. The club is also the latest Belgian team to have reached a UEFA competition final, the 1993 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, where they lost 3–1 against Parma at Wembley Stadium. Royal Antwerp play their home matches at the Bosuilstadion since 1923.[4] Royal Antwerp colours are red and white.

Royal Antwerp had a long-term partnership with the English club Manchester United, taking their young players on loan so that their development can be aided with first team football, and young players who require European work-permits can benefit from Belgium's more relaxed laws.[5] An example is Dong Fangzhuo, who was unable to play for United, immediately due to work permit problems and was loaned to allow him to gain first team experience.

Despite being one of Belgium's best-supported clubs, Antwerp have been under-achievers for several years. They have not won a league title since 1957, and have spent several seasons in the second division. They were last promoted to the top flight in 2000, only to be relegated in short order in 2004. They returned to the first division after 13 years in 2017.

Meuse/Scheldt CupEdit

The best football players of Antwerp and Rotterdam contested a yearly match between 1909 and 1959 for the Meuse- and Scheldt Cup (Maas- en Schelde Beker). It was agreed to play the game at Antwerp's stadium De Bosuil in Belgium and at Sparta Rotterdam's Het Kasteel stadium in the Netherlands. The cup was provided in 1909 by P. Havenith from Antwerp and Kees van Hasselt from Rotterdam.



Belgian First Division

Champions (4): 1928–29, 1930–31, 1943–44, 1956–57

Belgian Second Division

Champions (2): 1999–2000, 2016–17

Belgian Cup

Champions (2): 1954–55, 1991–92


UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

Runners-up (1): 1992–93

Current squadEdit

As of 12 February, 2020

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 Sinan Bolat
2   DF Ritchie De Laet
3   DF Abdoulaye Seck
4   DF Daniel Opare
5   DF Matheus
6   DF Simen Juklerød
7   FW Didier Lamkel Zé
8   MF Ivo Rodrigues
11   MF Lior Refaelov
12   DF Luete Ava Dongo
14   FW Amara Baby
15   DF Dino Arslanagić
16   MF Steven Defour
17   DF Robbe Quirynen
18   DF Martin Hongla
No. Position Player
19   MF Koji Miyoshi (on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)
20   MF Sander Coopman
21   DF Dylan Batubinsika
22   DF Wesley Hoedt (on loan from Southampton)
25   MF Alexis De Sart
28   FW Manuel Benson
30   DF Aurélio Buta
31   GK Yves De Winter
38   MF Faris Haroun (Captain)
39   GK Jens Teunckens
40   DF Junior Pius
60   MF Sambou Yatabaré
70   FW Dieumerci Mbokani
87   FW Kevin Mirallas
93   FW Zinho Gano
--   GK Davor Matijaš

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
  MF Yehor Nazaryna (at Karpaty until 30 June 2020)
No. Position Player

Technical staffEdit

Position Name
Manager   László Bölöni
Assistant Manager   Wim De Decker
Goalkeeping Coach   Vedran Runje
Fitness Coach   Peter Catteeuw
Match Analyst   Jerry Vanacker

Manchester United Players loan partnershipEdit

This is a list of former players acquired on-loan via Manchester United's partnership with Royal Antwerp from 1998 to 2013.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bosuil mag voortaan 16.144 supporters ontvangen GVA, 7 April 2018
  2. ^ "125 years football history". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wist je dat: de KBVB stamnummers uitvond?". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Stadiums & Pitches". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Manchester United's Royal Antwerp Loanees". Five Cantonas. Retrieved March 24, 2011.

External linksEdit