Stijnen in training with Brugge
|Full name||Stijn Stijnen|
|Date of birth||7 April 1981|
|Place of birth||Hasselt, Belgium|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Hasselt, Limburg, Stijnen moved from K.S.C. Hasselt to Club Brugge K.V. in 2000, aged 19, and became the club's first stand-in for veteran Dany Verlinden – when the latter retired at 41, he backed up Tomislav Butina. On 18 April 2003 he made his debut in the league, in a 3–0 away win against K.R.C. Genk. However, his big breakthrough came in the 2005–06 season, when he replaced the injured Butina several times; some strong performances (including the UEFA Champions League 1–2 home loss to Juventus F.C. in the group stage) made him the undisputed first-choice onwards.
In the 2006–07 campaign, Stijnen was between the posts as Brugge won the Belgian Cup 1–0 against Standard Liège, but the club only finished sixth in the domestic league. He never played in less than 31 league games in the following three seasons, but the Blue and Black did not manage to win any silverware.
On 20 February 2011 Stijnen was relegated to the B-team, after it became known that he and his family members had engaged in a malicious anonymous campaign on the club's message board, where they were bashing both the club management and fellow team members while simultaneously hailing Stijnen as the "club hero" in order to promote his profile. The following day, both parties agreed to dissolve the contract which bound the player to the club until 2015.
Stijnen retired in the 2013 summer at the age of 32, after two top flight seasons with Beerschot AC. He returned to youth club Hasselt subsequently, after being elected chairman.
In March 2007, before an UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier in Portugal, Stijnen reportedly claimed his teammates should take opponent star Cristiano Ronaldo out of the game in an early stage, by all means necessary. Eventually the home side won 4–0, with Ronaldo scoring twice, and the Manchester United player accepted the Belgian's apologies.
Stijnen retired from international play in October 2009, after collecting 30 caps.
|2002/03||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||2||0|
|2003/04||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||0||0|
|2004/05||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||1||0|
|2005/06||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||15||0|
|2006/07||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||27||0|
|2007/08||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||31||0|
|2008/09||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||31||0|
|2009/10||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||35||0|
|2010/11||Club Brugge||Belgium||Belgian League||12||0|
|2011/12||Beerschot AC||Belgium||Belgian League||13||0|
|2012/13||Beerschot AC||Belgium||Belgian League||20||0|
- "Juve start in familiar fashion". UEFA. 14 September 2005.[dead link]
- "Singing my praises! Brugge keeper Stijnen leaves club after internet smear campaign". Daily Mail. 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011.
- "Thursday gossip column". BBC Sport. 22 March 2007. Archived from the original on 28 March 2007.
- Tom Adams (31 March 2007). "Fergie wanted Boateng action". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012.
- Mark Buckingham (26 March 2007). "Ronaldo makes Stijnen peace". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012.
- "Belgian keeper Stijnen retires". Agence France-Presse. 5 October 2009. Archived from the original on 19 March 2014.