Franky Van der Elst
|Date of birth||30 April 1961|
|Place of birth||Ninove, Belgium|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|2005–2007||Club Brugge (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
During a 21-year professional career, he played mainly with Club Brugge, being regarded as a legend there, and briefly coaching the team in the 2000s (decade). Also, he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers, in March 2004.
Born in Ninove, Van der Elst started his professional career at R.W.D. Molenbeek, earning his first call-up for Belgium in 1982. Two years later, he moved to Club Brugge K.V. and stayed there until he finished his career in 1999, going on to total over 500 overall appearances with the side (462 in the league alone). During four seasons, he often partnered in midfield his namesake Leo - no relation.
Van der Elst won the Golden Shoe twice in his career, an accomplishment for an eminently defensive-minded player. He also appeared in four FIFA World Cups, from 1986 to 1998. Only having scored once for his country in nearly 90 matches, against Norway, he reacted with astonishment upon its realization.
After his career as a player, Van der Elst was appointed as manager at K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot. After four relatively successful years, he was replaced by Marc Brys, and subsequently joined K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen, however only for one season.
In 2005, Van der Elst returned to 'his' Club Brugge, as an assistant, joining former teammates (both in club and country) Jan Ceulemans, Marc Degryse, Dany Verlinden and René Verheyen. He stayed at Brugge when Verheyen and Ceulemans were fired in 2006, but was eventually shown the door the following year, with head coach Emilio Ferrera.
- Belgian League: 1987–88, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1995–96, 1997–98
- Belgian Cup: 1990–91, 1994–95, 1995–96
- Belgian Supercup: 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Belgium||League||Belgian Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1984–85||Club Brugge||Belgian League||33||1|
- Franky Van der Elst – FIFA competition record
- Franky Van der Elst moet opkrassen bij Brussels (Franky Van der Elst sacked by Brussels) (Dutch)
- Club Brugge archives (Dutch)
- Franky Van der Elst at National-Football-Teams.com
- Weltfussball profile (German)